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Barry Fitzgerald Edit Profile


Barry Fitzgerald was an Irish actor.


Fitzgerald, Barry was born on 10 March 1888 in Dublin, Ireland. Son of Adolphus William and Fanny Sophia (Shields) Fitzgerald.


Educated at Merchant Taylors’ School, Dublin, Skerry’s Civil Service College, Dublin.


Fitzgerald had been a stage actor at the Abbey Theatre. But he could hardly be blamed for abandoning that in favor of the rewards lavished on his movie Irishman: The Plough and the Stars (36, Ford); Ebb Tide (37, Arthur Rossen); gloriously double-taking at the drunken realization that he is sitting beside a leopard in Bringing Up Baby (38, Howard Hawks); Four Men and a Prayer (38, Ford); The Long Voyage Home (40. Ford); The Sea Wolf (41, Michael Curtiz); How Green Was My Valley (41, Ford); The Amazing Mrs. Holiday (43, Bruce Manning); None But the Lonely Heart (44, Clifford Odets); winning a supporting actor Oscar as the senior priest in Going My Way (44, Leo MeCarey); Incendiary Blonde (45, George Marshall); And Then There Were None (45, René Clair); Two Years Before the Mast (46, John Farrow); Welcome Stranger (46, Elliott Nugent); California (47, Farrow); Easy Come, Easy Go (47, Farrow); Miss Tatlock's Millions (48, Richard Haydn); as Lieutenant Muldoon, the goblin cop in The Naked City (48, Jules Dassin); Top o' the Morning (49, David Miller); The Story of Seabiscuit (49, David Butler); Union Station (50, Rudolph Maté); Silver City (51, Byron Haskin); The Quiet Man (52, Ford); Happy Ever After (54, Mario Zampi); The Catered Affair (56, Richard Brooks); Rooney (57. George Pollock); and Broth of a Boy (58, Pollock).


Years before Hollywood was challenged for not allowing black actors to play anything other than “Negro" characters, Irishness had been forced into a similar straitjacket. Thus Barry Fitzgerald’s accent could only become a more extreme version of itself. When we laugh at him or warm to his cozy sentimentality, it is to as serious a distortion of ethnic character as ever the Negro suffered. And, appropriately, it was the Irish-inclined John Ford who first called Fitzgerald before the cameras to play the tourist’s Irishman.


Adolphus William Fitzgerald

Fanny Sophia (Shields) Fitzgerald