Jump to content

Tom Murphy (actor)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tom Murphy
Tom Jordan Murphy

15 January 1968
Died6 October 2007 (aged 39)
Years active1980–2007

Tom Jordan Murphy (15 January 1968 – 6 October 2007) was an Irish theatre and film actor best known for his 1998 Tony Award winning performance in The Beauty Queen of Leenane.[1]


In 1996, Murphy created the role of Ray Dooley in The Beauty Queen of Leenane. This production started life at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway, directed by Garry Hynes and presented in association with the Druid Theatre Company. It also played at Dublin's Gaiety Theatre and in London's West End. In 1998, the play transferred to off-Broadway and later made its Broadway debut at the Walter Kerr Theater. Nominated for six Tony Awards in total, the production won four including the Best Featured Actor in a Play award for Murphy. New York Times theater critic, Ben Brantley, praised Murphy for his role in the play at the time, "Mr. Murphy offers comic relief without ever presenting it as such...His, more than any other character, must embody the provincial society beyond the women's home, and Ray's irritable restlessness is eloquent on the subject".[1]

Murphy made his professional acting debut playing the Artful Dodger in Noel Pearson's production of Oliver! in 1980 aged 12. During his career he performed in theatres all over Ireland and the UK including the Abbey Theatre, the Gate Theatre and Royal Court Theatre in London (in Shining City by Conor McPherson). Murphy made his feature film breakthrough with 2004's Adam & Paul, co-starring (and written by) Mark O'Halloran, in which he played a Dublin drug addict. Variety, which reviewed the movie, wrote that Murphy's performance "steals the show."[2]

Murphy was the former partner of Mark O'Halloran, the writer and co-star in Adam and Paul.[3]

Murphy also appeared in a number of other Irish films, including Intermission, Michael Collins, The General and Man About Dog.[2] He also played the part of Seamie in the popular RTÉ television drama series Pure Mule.


Murphy died in a Dublin hospital following treatment for lymphatic cancer on 6 October 2007. He was 39 years old. Audiences all over Dublin the same day (during the Dublin Theatre Festival) gave Murphy a standing ovation following the announcement of his death.[2]


Year Title Role Notes
1992 In Till You Die Fireman 1
1996 Michael Collins Vinny Byrne
1998 The General Willie Byrne
2002 The Abduction Club Knox
2002 Boxed Father Brendan
2002 In America Actor in Queue
2003 Mystics Denis
2003 Intermission Brian - Video Store Manager
2004 Adam & Paul Paul
2004 Man About Dog Cerebral Paulsy
2006 Small Engine Repair Christy
2007 48 Angels Stevie


  1. ^ a b Playbill (8 October 2007). "Broadway star Tom Murphy dead at 39". United Press International. Archived from the original on 29 July 2007. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
  2. ^ a b c Staff (8 October 2007). "Tributes Flood in for One of Acting's 'Brightest Stars'". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
  3. ^ White, Hilary A. (15 August 2016). "From Dublin to Havana, Mark locates new life". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 15 January 2021.

External links[edit]