|Born||1954 (age 59–60)
Delvin, County Westmeath, Ireland
|Years active||Early 1980s-present|
Mary McEvoy (born 1954 in Delvin, County Westmeath) is an Irish actress. She is recognised by television viewers for having played the role of Biddy Byrne in Glenroe from 1983-2000. After that she has been in numerous plays, including Big Maggie, Sive, The Field, The Chastitute, The Vagina Monologues, Shirley Valentine, The Matchmaker, The Year of the Hiker, Dancing at Lughnasa, Whippy, The Life and Times of Selma Mae, Moonlight and Music and Jo Bangles. She is also noted for her washing powder advertisements on television.
As an only child, Mary's father Larry was a sheep and cattle farmer, while her mother Catherine was the local district nurse. The family was well off enough to have a TV, and McEvoy remembers being mesmerised by the leading ladies of the 1940s' films.
Before becoming an actress McEvoy was employed at the Department of Agriculture in Dublin as a serological assistant testing for brucellosis. She left this position to return to work on her father's farm in Delvin County Westmeath Ireland.
After returning to Dublin in the early 1980s, McEvoy got a job as a runner at the Dublin Theatre Festival and studied acting at the Oscar Theatre School. Byrne's earlier theatre work includes The Philanderer (George Bernard Shaw) and Semi-Private (Mary Halpin) at The Gate. She starred with Siobhan McKenna in the original production of Bailegangaire (Tom Murphy) and Wood of the Whispering (M. J. Molloy) with Druid Theatre directed by Garry Hynes, also Charlie's Aunt at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. While at Oscar Theatre School she auditioned for Biddy Byrne in Glenroe and was given the part because she had a license to drive tractors.
From 1983 through to 2000, Byrne became one of Ireland's best known television actresses in her role as Biddy McDermott in Glenroe. Mary left the show in 2000 saying ''I was out shoveling in the goose pen in Glenroe and I just said, "I can't do this anymore. It wasn't that I didn't like it; it was just I knew that I had to jump and if I didn't do it now I'd be wondering, 'what if' for the rest of my life." After this Mary told the producers she wanted to leave the soap and her character Biddy was killed off in a car crash in May 2000, leaving fans of the show shocked. A few weeks later her co-star Joe Lynch announced he was also leaving the show. Glenroe was axed a year later in 2001.
After leaving Glenroe, McEvoy has featured in the plays Big Maggie, Sive, The Field, The Chastitute, The Vagina Monologues, Shirley Valentine, The Matchmaker, The Year of the Hiker, Dancing at Lughnasa, Whippy, The Life and Times of Selma Mae, Moonlight and Music and Jo Bangles.
In 2010, McEvoy became a regular guest panelist on the TV3 show Midday and also was a guest on The Late Late Show in April 2011. In April 2011, McEvoy released her autobiography How The Light Gets In.
In 2009, on the documentary Would You Believe, McEvoy revealed that she suffered many years from depression, and that she is a Buddhist. McEvoy has been in a relationship with musician Garvan Gallagher for 23 years.
- "Mary McEvoy". IMDb.
- "Irish Farmers Journal". Irish Farmers Journal. 26 July 2008. Retrieved 26 July 2008.
- "MARY MCEVOY SPEAKS OUT ON MIDDAY ABOUT HER DEPRESSION". TV3. 30 September 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
- "Something about Mary". RTÉ.
- Byrne, Andrea (13 September 2009). "I had no hope, says McEvoy of her depression". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 13 September 2009.