Daragh O'Malley

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Daragh O'Malley
Born (1954-05-25) May 25, 1954 (age 62)
Dublin, Ireland
Citizenship Ireland
Occupation Actor/Producer
Years active 1977–present
Parent(s) Donogh O'Malley
Hilda Moriarty

Daragh O'Malley (born 25 May 1954) is an Irish born film, theatre and television actor who has appeared in a large number of TV series, films and films for television. O'Malley is known for his portrayal of 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 roles in the iconic films The Long Good Friday and Withnail and I, leading guest roles in many UK television series including Waking The Dead, Wire in the Blood, Silent Witness and Vera, and leading roles in a number of US productions including The Magnificent Seven, Texas, Vendetta, Cleopatra and Shaughnessy. Among a myriad of other work O'Malley played Kerryman Tom Crean in the epic 8 part tv series "The Last Place on Earth" with Hugh Grant and Martin Shaw. In 2011, O'Malley returned to the stage to play Father Jack in a revival of Dancing at Lughnasa, which was nominated for an MTA Best Production Award, and followed that by playing John Rainey in a London revival of Irvine's Mixed Marriage, which received very positive reviews.[1] In Autumn 2014, O'Malley appeared as Big Daddy in a widely acclaimed production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester, for which he was nominated for an MTA Best Actor award.[2][3] UK's The Stage selected O'Malley's performance in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as one of the Top Five Performances in UK theatre in 2014. In 2015, it was announced that O'Malley would play the screen legend Marlon Brando in the one man stage play "Brando - Memoirs of A Giant" which was being developed by the Sundance Theatre Forum.In 2016 O'Malley starred in a Salisbury Playhouse and York Theatre Royal revival of Emyln William's Night Must Fall which was well received.


Daragh O'Malley was born in Holles Street Hospital in Dublin on May 25, 1954 to a politician and a medical doctor and was raised in Limerick and educated by the Jesuits at Crescent College and later by Carmelite monks at Terenure College in Dublin. O'Malley appeared as the lead in the annual student productions at Terenure College and of the cast of Juno and the Paycock five went on to be professional actors.

On the day that O'Malley was born, his father, Donogh O'Malley, an engineer, was first elected to Dáil Éireann. 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 studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. 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 then went on appear as a series regular as Pat Grogan, the gardener, in ITV's Crossroads but quit after 157 episodes to take up a contract at The Royal Shakespeare Company.

From 1993 to 2009, O'Malley appeared with Sean Bean in the ITV Sharpe TV series, which was filmed in Ukraine, Crimea, Portugal, Turkey, India and in the UK.

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.However, Duffy decided to return to Dallas and plans for a series of TV movies which were to be shot in Ireland were shelved.

O'Malley married Gabrielle (née Leavy) in 1993 and they have appearently lived for extended periods of time in London,Los Angeles and Portugal.

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. O'Malley lived in Los Angeles for many years and appears to have remained close to and in regular contact with Brando until the screen legend died.

In 2011, O'Malley returned to the stage after a twelve-year absence, appearing as Father Jack in a UK 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. O'Malley was nominated as Best Actor at The MTA Theatre Awards - MTA stated "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof seethes with unhappy people circling the central character, partriarch Big Daddy. Daragh O’Malley blisters his way through this famous role like a raging bull with great physical presence tempered by emotional vulnerability". The Times called O'Malley's performance as Big Daddy " towering in every sense of the word "

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; 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 a 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 founder of The Sharpe's Children Foundation,[4] 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. Team India - sponsored by The Sharpe's Children Foundation and made up of children who live in railway carriages at Delhi Railway Station - won The Street Children's World Cup in South Africa in 2010. The Sharpe's Children Foundation was chosen as World Charity of The Year in 2012 by Intellectual Property Magazine at a ceremony in The Connaught Hotel, London and was integrated with The Consortium for Street Children later that year.



  1. ^ Michael Billington (10 October 2011). "Mixed Marriage – review | Stage". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-23. 
  2. ^ Paul Vallely (2014-11-06). "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Royal Exchange Manchester, review: A compelling production". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-11-17. 
  3. ^ The Manchester Review - Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Royal Exchange, reviewed by Emma Rhys, http://www.themanchesterreview.co.uk/?p=4249, Retrieved Mar. 11, 2017.
  4. ^ "The Sharpe's Children Foundation". causes.com. 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 

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