Daragh O'Malley

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Daragh O'Malley
Born (1954-05-25) May 25, 1954 (age 60)
Dublin, Ireland
Citizenship  Ireland
Occupation Actor
Years active 1978-present
Parent(s) Donogh O'Malley
Hilda Moriarty

Daragh O'Malley (born 25 May 1954) is an Irish film, theatre and television actor who has appeared in a large number of TV series, films and films for television. O'Malley is perhaps best known for his portrayal of the ever-faithful Patrick Harper in the long-running [1993-2009] Sharpe TV series with Sean Bean. O'Malley has appeared in a wide range of productions beginning with cameo roles in the iconic films The Long Good Friday and Withnail and I, guest roles in episodes of the television series Waking The Dead, Wire in the Blood, Silent Witness and Vera, and leading roles in US productions including The Magnificent Seven, Texas, Vendetta, Cleopatra and Shaughnessy. In 2011 O'Malley returned to the stage in the UK after a twelve-year absence playing Father Jack in a UK National Tour of Dancing at Lughnasa which was nominated for an MTA Best Production Award and John Rainey in a London revival of Irvine's Mixed Marriage which received positive reviews.[1] In Autumn 2014, O'Malley appeared as Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester which received positive reviews and for which O'Malley was nominated for an MTA Best Actor award .[2] http://www.themanchesterreview.co.uk/?p=4249


Daragh O'Malley was born in Holles Street Hospital in Dublin on May 25, 1954 and was raised in Limerick and educated by the Jesuits at Crescent College and later by Carmelite monks at Terenure College in Dublin. On the day O'Malley was born, his father, Donogh O'Malley, was first elected to Dáil Éireann – the Irish parliament. Donogh O'Malley served as a TD for Limerick East from 1954 to 1968 and as his country's Minister for Health and later as Minister for Education, introducing a Free Secondary and Third Level education system in Ireland which is credited with the subsequent large upsurge in the Irish economy. On Donogh O'Malley's sudden death, aged 47, he became one of just a select few Irishmen who have been given a full Irish State Funeral – others included Michael Collins – O'Malley's funeral was attended by the then President of Ireland, Eamon de Valera.

O'Malley has seemingly been approached many times over the years by the Fianna Fáil party to put his name forward for election in his father's constituency, then Limerick East now Limerick City, but on each occasion O'Malley declined the invitation. On the Sam Smyth Radio Show in Ireland in 2004 O'Malley stated, "The stress of politics killed my father at 47 – while I would like nothing better than appearing in the great theatre that is Dail Eireann [the Irish Parliament] even for just one day, I feel the price one would pay is far too high. Politics is a thankless business which ultimately ends in failure – no matter how well intentioned one is "

O'Malley's mother, Hilda, a doctor from Dingle, County Kerry, is the subject of Patrick Kavanagh's famous love poem "On Raglan Road".

O'Malley's late aunt, Maeve – his father's sister – was singer Dido's grandmother.

O'Malley studied at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art where one of his fellow students was Amy Irving. Irving once played Antigone to O'Malley's Creon.

On leaving LAMDA O'Malley was a founder member of Common Stock Theatre Company, one of London's first community theatre groups, which was based in an old church on Pentonville Road in London – where Grimaldi The Clown is buried - and which took theatre to the poor of London's East End. A fellow founder member of Common Stock with O'Malley was Dame Harriet Walter.


O'Malley has had a long interest in horse racing. Three successful horses that O'Malley owned were Mustang Prince (which won twelve races), Long-Haired Lover and Running Deer(which he named after a character in the Richard Harris film A Man Called Horse). O'Malley was a friend of the late Richard Harris – both were from Limerick and O'Malley's father, Donough, was once engaged to Harris's sister Audrey who died during their engagement. O'Malley and Harris were often seen together at Dingle Races in Ireland, at Munster rugby matches in the UK, often with Peter O'Toole in tow, and in Scott's pub in Kilkee, Co. Clare, Ireland, as well as various hostelries around London.


When Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing) was killed off from Dallas, he and O'Malley formed a partnership in the film production company called European Motion Pictures.

O'Malley appeared with Sean Bean in the ITV Sharpe TV series from 1993 to 2008 which was filmed in Ukraine, Crimea, Portugal, Turkey, India and London and Bradford in the UK.

In the mid-1990s, O'Malley was cast as Debra Winger's husband in the ill-fated feature Divine Rapture, which also starred Marlon Brando, John Hurt and Johnny Depp. The production spectacularly collapsed a few weeks into filming when Orion, the major Los Angeles production company backing the film, suddenly went bankrupt. Three-time Oscar nominee Winger virtually retired from acting afterwards. O'Malley, who lived in Los Angeles for many years, remained close to Brando and the two were working on a film version of The Merchant of Venice (With Brando to play Shylock) when Brando died. The project was later picked up by Al Pacino.

In 2011 O'Malley returned to the stage after a twelve-year absence appearing as Father Jack in a 16-city UK touring production of Brien Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa and as Trade Unionist John Rainey in a much-acclaimed London production of Irving's Mixed Marriage. Michael Billington of The Guadian described O'Malley's performance as "magnificent" in "the most compelling play in London"

In late 2014 O'Malley appeared as Big Daddy in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre - his performance was described as "towering" by The Independent and as "a masterclass in acting" by The Times and was selected as one of the top ten performances in the UK Theatre in 2014 by The Stage. O'Malley was nominated as Best Actor at The MTA Theatre Awards who stated "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof seethes with unhappy people circling the central character, partriarch Big Daddy. Daragh O’Malley blistered his way through this famous role with great physical presence tempered by emotional vulnerability"

In 2015 it was announced that O'Malley would portray Marlon Brando in "Marlon" - a one-man show on the actors life backed by UCLA which is scheduled to open in London and Los Angeles in late 2015 and then tour.

O'Malley is the voice of the iconic crooked lawyer Nick Virago in the multi-million-selling Lucas Arts CD ROM Grim Fandango. Also a voice actor and voice-over artist, O'Malley was for years the voice of the Utah-based Beneficial Life Insurance Company across North America.


O'Malley produced the Irish version of The Rocky Horror Show in Dublin, and the show won numerous awards, including a Best Production Jacob's Award. Author Richard O'Brien described O'Malley's Irish production as "without doubt, the sexiest version of my show ever produced".

In Los Angeles O'Malley won a Drama-Logue Best Actor Award for his 1998 performance as "Sweeney" in Patrick Marber's Dealers Choice at The Mark Taper Forum.

A one-off episode of the BBC Series Doctors, which was two-handed episode in which O'Malley appeared with actor Christopher Timothy, won a BANFF TV Award.

In 2011 a production of Dancing at Lughnasa in which O'Malley appeared as Father Jack was nominated for an MTA AWard.

In 2015 O'Malley was nominated for an MTA Award for his performance as Big Daddy in Tennessee Williams Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Royal Exchange, Manchester

Charity work[edit]

O'Malley was a founder of The Sharpe's Children Foundation,[3] a charity designed to fight poverty with education and take orphaned and destitute children off the streets of the third world and into residential education. The SCF was launched at Apsley House - home of the Duke of Wellington - in October 2010. The Sharpe's Children Foundation was integrated into The Consortium for Street Children in 2012.

O'Malley, previously the owner of a large number of racing greyhounds, now lobbies and campaigns for the total abolition of greyhound racing. In an Irish Independent interview in 2009 O'Malley stated "when I finally got around to scratching the surface of the greyhound racing industry – which I was part of by owning several greyhounds – I discovered that virtually every single aspect of the industry is corrupt. The greyhounds are treated in a very cruel and inhumane way and I have rarely seen a 5- or 6-year-old greyhound. Draw your own conclusions. It's a not a sport – it's a disgusting pastime and is totally unacceptable".

O'Malley married his wife Gabrielle in 1993.



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