Friday, March 10, 2017

Born Today March 10: Barry Fitzgerald


Irish actor Barry Fitzgerald was born on this date in Dublin (birth name:  William Joseph Shields) to an Irish father and a German mother.  He was educated to enter the banking industry and did become a civil servant.  He was working at the Abbey Theater at the same time.  His tenure as an actor at that theater lasted from 1914-1936.  In the silent era, he appeared in two British films--only one of which was actually silent.  The first of these came in 1924 with Land Of Her Fathers.  The second was an early sound film by Alfred Hitchcock released in 1929; The Shame Of Mary Boyle, better known by it's alternative name Juno And The Paycock. By the late 1930's, he had made the move to Hollywood and found regular work there as a beloved character actor.  In 1959, he retired and returned to his native Dublin and assumed his birth name.  He passed away there on the 14th of January in 1961 of a heart attack, he was 72 years old.  He was the older brother of actor Arthur Shields.  He is buried there in Deansgrange Cemetery, next to his brother Arthur.

He and his brother's graves in Dublin, Ireland

Close up of his tombstone bearing his birth name

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