She starred as Mary Riordan, "the quintessential Irish mammy", in The Riordans from 1965 until the show was cancelled in 1979. She later appeared as Nellie Connors in Glenroe. She played Mrs in The Irish Royal Marines She had roles in such films as This Is My Father and Angela"s Ashes (as the money-lending Mrs ).
Raised in Kinsale, County Cork, she later resided in Greystones, County Wicklow.
She began acting by traveling around Ireland as part of fit-ups (traveling theatre troupes). He died on 10 August 1978, aged 69.
The couple had four children. rural drama series, The Riordans. She was one of a small number of Riordans actors to work on both its successor series and Glenroe.
She died, aged 88, on 15 November 2010 in Loughlinstown Hospital, County Dublin.
Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport Mary Hanafin commented on her part in Irish history: "In her role as the matriarch of The Riordans homestead, she was ever present, each Sunday, on our television screens dealing with the changing landscape and domestic issues that Ireland as a country was experiencing". Hundreds attended her funeral on 18 November at Holy Rosary Church, Greystones.