Brendan O'Carroll

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Brendan O'Carroll
Born (1955-09-15) 15 September 1955 (age 61)
Finglas, Dublin, Ireland
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • producer
Years active 1991–present
Known for Agnes Brown in Mrs. Brown's Boys
Net worth Increase £10 million (2013)
Spouse(s) Doreen Dowdall
(m. 1977; div. 1999)[1]
Jennifer Gibney
(m. 2005)
Children 4
Parent(s) Gerald O'Carroll
Maureen McHugh

Brendan O'Carroll (born 15 September 1955) is an Irish writer, producer, comedian, actor, and director, best known for portraying foul-mouthed matriarch Agnes Brown in the BBC television sitcom, Mrs. Brown's Boys.[1]

Early life[edit]

The youngest of 11 children,[2] O'Carroll was born in Finglas, Dublin. His mother, Maureen, was a Labour Party TD. His father, Gerard O'Carroll, was a carpenter. He left school at the age of 12 and had a string of occupations, including a waiter and milkman.[3]



Having become well known as a comedy guest on The Late Late Show, O'Carroll released four stand-up videos, titled How's your Raspberry Ripple, How's your Jolly Roger, How's your Snowballs and How's your Wibbly Wobbly Wonder.[4][5]

Sparrow's Trap[edit]

O'Carroll wrote the screen play to Sparrow's Trap, a boxing movie.[5]

The film, which had Stephen Rea cast in the lead role, ran into financing difficulties midway through the shoot when the distributor withdrew and it was abandoned. Incurring debts of over €1 million, O'Carroll became bankrupt and the film has never been produced.[6][7][8][9]

Hot Milk and Pepper[edit]

O'Carroll presented a quiz on RTÉ One with long term collaborator Gerry Browne.[6][7]

Mrs. Brown's Boys[edit]

In 1992, O'Carroll performed a short radio play titled Mrs. Browne's Boys and shortly afterwards he wrote four books titled The Mammy, The Granny, The Chisellers and The Scrapper.[3] In 1999, a movie named Agnes Browne, starring Anjelica Huston, was released, based on his book "The Mammy". O'Carroll also co-wrote the screenplay. He then decided to put together his own family theatre company, Mrs. Browne's Boys, and dressed up as a woman to play his part, as the actress he had originally hired failed to turn up.[3][2]

From 1999 to 2009, he wrote and performed in five plays. Since 2011, the stage shows have been re-toured across the UK. In 2011, his plays were adapted into a television sitcom (with the name "Browne", shortened to "Brown"). So far, from 2011, 28 episodes have aired, across three series, several Christmas special episodes and a one-off live episode that aired in 2016 on RTÉ One and BBC One. Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie was released on 27 June 2014, and was a significant success in the UK, staying at number one in the box office for two consecutive weeks. However, the film had negative reviews; one saying it was not just unfunny but "close to anti-funny". O'Carroll's wife, his sister Eilish, his son Danny and his daughter Fiona, all appear or have appeared on episodes of Mrs. Brown's Boys.[10]

The Course[edit]

It was announced in January 2015 that the BBC wanted O'Carroll to do "other stuff", due to the fact that Mrs Brown's Boys had become so successful. He revealed plans to adapt his first ever written play, The Course into a television sitcom.[citation needed]

Family and personal life[edit]

O'Carroll was married to Doreen O'Carroll from 1977 to 1999. He married Jennifer Gibney in 2005. O'Carroll has three surviving children: Danny, Fiona and Eric. O'Carroll's first son, Brendan, died from spina bifida when he was just a few days old.

O'Carroll's paternal grandfather, Peter O'Carroll, the father of seven and a prominent republican, was shot dead on 16 October 1920 at his home in Manor Street, Dublin. Two of his sons were Irish Republican Army volunteers. The incident was investigated in the television series Who do you think you are?[11][12] In March 2016 O'Carroll appeared in the BBC2 documentary Brendan O'Carroll - My Family at War, which explored the involvement of three of his uncles - Liam, James and Peadar O'Carroll - in the Easter Rising.[13]



Year Film Character(s)
1996 The Van Weslie
1999 Agnes Browne Seamus, the Drunk
1999 Angela's Ashes Man in pub
2014 Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie Agnes Brown and Mr. Wang


Year Title Role
2002–2008 Mrs Brown's Boys The Original Series Agnes Brown
2004 Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere Gypsy Joe
2011–present Mrs. Brown's Boys Agnes Brown
2013 The Security Men Jimmy
The Course Joe Daly


Year Title Role
1999 Mrs Brown's Last Wedding Agnes Brown
2002, 2012, 2014 Mrs Brown Rides Again
2002, 2011–12 Good Mourning Mrs Brown
2007, 2013 For The Love of Mrs Brown
2009, 2015 How Now Mrs Brown Cow


  1. ^ McGreevy, Ronan (27 April 2011). "Necessity the mammy of invention as O'Carroll's Mrs Brown is up for Bafta". The Irish Times. 
  2. ^ a b Profile,; accessed 14 September 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Brendan O'Carroll profile". Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  4. ^ Ronan Kerr. "Brendan O'Carroll: The Stand Up Collection 4 DVD Box Set, Great Price, Free Delivery". Archived from the original on January 20, 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-30. 
  5. ^ a b Young, Richie (3 October 1997). "Movie Hat-Trick for Big-Shot Brendan". Irish Daily Mirror. Retrieved 16 October 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ a b Quigley, Maeve (17 February 2013). "'I Am Mrs Browne's Boy!' SINGER GERRY SAYS HIS MUM INSPIRED PAL'S HIT SHOW". Irish Daily Mirror. Retrieved 16 October 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ a b Taylor, Richie (23 March 1998). "I'LL PAY BACK Pounds 2M DEBT; Comic O'Carroll's Cash Pledge". Irish Daily Mirror. Retrieved 16 October 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ Quigley, Maeve (31 December 2011). "I Wasn't an Actor but 2 Days before a Show the Guy Playing Rory Left. by Monday Night I Was in Front of 1,300 People; BROWN MRS ON HIS STAR TO FAME RISE". Irish Daily Mirror. Retrieved 16 October 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  9. ^ Swords, Warren (6 February 2011). "Mrs Brown's Debt; TV Comic Brendan O'Carroll Was Forced to Repay €150k He Owed to Clerical Abuse Victim - but Only after He Was Dragged into Court". Irish Mail on Sunday. Retrieved 16 October 2015 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  10. ^ Profile,; accessed 28 September 2015.
  11. ^ Smith, Patrick. "Another 'Mushy' moment?", The Daily Telegraph, 29 August 2014
  12. ^ Brendan O'Carroll profile,; accessed 13 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Brendan O'Carroll: Comic says 1916 Easter Rising lessons 'not learned'",; accessed 18 March 2016.

External links[edit]