Marie Mullen

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Marie Mullen
Born1953 (age 65–66)
EducationNUI Galway
Seán McGinley (m. 1990)
Children2 daughters

Marie Mullen (born 1953) is an Irish actress and co-founder of the Druid Theatre Company. She is best known for her performance in the 1998 production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane, for which she received a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.


Mullen is from Drumfin, south Sligo.[1] She said that she wanted "to try to be an actor from when I was in secondary school." [2] Garry Hynes recalls meeting Mullen at Dramsoc at UCG in 1971, when they were both 17, and casting her in The Loves of Cass Maguire.[2] She attended NUI Galway studying archaeology. She met Hynes and Mick Lally, and they formed the Druid Theatre Company.[1]

As a founding member of Druid Theatre Company, she has appeared in many of their productions, including Conversations on a Homecoming (1985),[3] Brigit and The Cripple of Inishmaan.[4] She played the role of "Mary" and 30 years later in 2014 the role of "Mommo" in Tom Murphy's play Bailegangaire, presented by the Druid Theatre Company at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway. The critic for The Irish Times wrote Mullen's "astonishing performance comes an amplification of her earlier character’s pain and humour..." and called her performance "transcendental."[5] She appeared in Tom Murphy's Brigit as "Mommo", the same character who is depicted in Bailegangaire. Brigit was presented by the Druid Theatre Company in 2014.[6]

She appeared on Broadway in The Beauty Queen of Leenane in 1998 as Maureen Folan, and won the Tony Award, Actress in a Play.[7] She appeared Off-Broadway in The Cripple of Inishmaan in December 2008, in a co-production of the Druid Theatre Company and the Atlantic Theatre Company.[8]

Mullen acted in DruidSynge (2006), a theatre production of the complete plays of John Millington Synge, performed in the same day, by the Druid Theatre Company in which she played parts in five of the six plays. The New York Times reviewer wrote: "I should start by mentioning the indispensable contributions of Marie Mullen — the great and glorious Marie Mullen I can’t resist calling her — whom New York theatergoers will remember for her Tony-winning portrayal of the frustrated heroine of 'Beauty Queen.'"][9]

In 2007, she performed alongside James Cromwell in the Druid production of Long Day's Journey into Night. She appeared in DruidShakespeare at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2015, directed by Garry Hynes. Mullen played a "sharply etched assortment of men of state."[10]

Mullen is set to star as Mrs. Paroo in the upcoming Broadway revival of The Music Man set to open in 2020


She appeared in the 1994 film Circle of Friends as "Mrs. Foley".[11] She appeared in the film Hear My Song (1991) as "Mickey's Mom".[12]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Mullen won the 1998 Tony Award for Best Actress in a play for The Beauty Queen of Leenane.[13]

Mullen received the 2012 Alumni Award for arts, social sciences and Celtic studies from NUI Galway.[14]

She received the Special Tribute Award at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards in February 2013, recognizing her "immense contribution to Irish theatre."[15]

Mullen received an honorary Doctorate of Arts from her alma mater, NUI Galway, in June 2016.

In 2018 Druid Theatre launched the Marie Mullen Bursary named in her honour. It is open to female dramaturgs, directors and designers.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Mullen married Irish actor Seán McGinley in 1990, having first met in 1977;[1] they have two children.[2] Her husband has been associated with the Druid Theatre Company many times in the past.


  1. ^ a b c "On the long hard road of acting for forty years" Sligo Champion, (, 13 June 2015
  2. ^ a b c O'Rourke, Francis. "First encounters: Marie Mullen and Garry Hynes" Irish Times, 4 May 2013
  3. ^ "'Conversations on a Homecoming' History", accessed 7 April 2016
  4. ^ "Marie Mullen is guest of honour for St Patrick's Day Parade" Galway Independent, 9 March 2016
  5. ^ Crawley, Peter. "Review: 'Bailegangaire'" The Irish Times, 15 September 2014
  6. ^ Gorman, Sophie. "Theatre review of Tom Murphy's 'Brigit' and 'Bailegangaire'", 17 September 2014
  7. ^ "Marie Mullan Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed 7 April 2016
  8. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Marie Mullen, Beauty Queen Tony Winner, Begins Cripple of Inishmaan Run in NYC" Archived 2014-05-02 at the Wayback Machine Playbill, 9 December 2008
  9. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Review" New York Times, 12 July 2006
  10. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Review: ‘DruidShakespeare: The History Plays’ Is Complete With a Crown Fit for Many Kings" The New York Times, 13 July 2015
  11. ^ Circle of Friends, accessed 7 April 2016
  12. ^ Hear My Song, accessed 7 April 2016
  13. ^ "Women Highlight 1998 Tony Awards" Times-Union, 8 June 1998
  14. ^ "NUIG announces 2012 Alumni Award winners", accessed 7 April 2016
  15. ^ "Watch Special Tribute Video to Marie Mullen" Archived 2016-04-25 at the Wayback Machine, 26 February 2013
  16. ^ Connacht Tribune, 9 March 2018

External links[edit]