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Brenda Fricker (1945)

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Brenda Fricker is an Irish actress of theatre, film and television. She has appeared in more than 30 films and television roles. In 1989, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for My Left Foot.


 life and career
Her mother, "Bina" , was a teacher at Stratford College, and her father, Desmond Frederick Fricker, was an officer in the Department of Agriculture and a journalist for The Irish Times. In her teens, she aspired to follow her parent's footsteps into journalism. Fricker has an older sister, Nora Ann Grania Fricker.

Before becoming an actress, Fricker was assistant to the art editor of the Irish Times, with hopes to become a reporter. At age 19, she became an actress "by chance", her feature film career began with a small uncredited part in the 1964 film Of Human Bondage, based on the 1915 novel by W. Somerset Maugham. She also appeared in Tolka Row, Ireland's first ever soap opera.

She first came to wider public attention in the United Kingdom for her role as Megan Roach in the BBC One television drama series Casualty. She played this role from the series' first episode in September 1986, continuing until 1990 on a regular basis, with some additional return guest appearances. Fricker's last appearance as Megan was in August 2010, when the character took a lethal cocktail of drugs to end her life.

Fricker then acted in several films. She won the 1989 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Christy Brown's mother in My Left Foot; among others, she thanked Christy Brown in her acceptance speech, simply for "being alive" and also dedicated the Oscar to Mrs. Brown, Christy's mother saying, "Anyone who gave birth twenty-one times would deserve one of these." She next co-starred in the 1990 film The Field alongside Richard Harris.

She acted in a string of successful films, and continued her television work during this period. She starred in Australian produced short series Brides of Christ . She then co-starred in the 1992 TV miniseries Seekers alongside Josette Simon, produced by Sarah Lawson. Key film appearances include roles in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York , and So I Married an Axe Murderer, as a Weekly World News-obsessed Scottish immigrant. In 2003, she played Bernie Guerin, mother of Veronica Guerin in the film of the same name. She then played nurse Eileen in the film Inside I'm Dancing. In 2007, she starred in How About You the film based on a short story about people living in a residential nursing home written by Maeve Binchy, playing Heather Nightangle. Other important roles were Omagh in 2004 as police Ombudsman Nuala O' Loan, as Graiine McFadden in the TV docudrama No Tears about the women treated with the blood product Anti D in the seventies been contaminated with Hepatitis C, Aunt Maeve in Durango in 1999 based on the novel from John B Keane.

She left Casualty because she believed her character had "started off with a wonderful sense of humour, lost it all and all she ever seemed to do was push a trolley around and offer tea and sympathy". Fricker bowed out as Megan in December 1990, after playing the character in 65 episodes. Then in February 1998 she was in two episodes, where Megan attended the wedding of her former colleagues Charlie Fairhead and Barbara 'Baz' Samuels. In 2007, she returned for a single episode for Red Nose Day. The episode was written by Richard Curtis.

Most recently, Fricker has appeared in Closing the Ring, Richard Attenborough's post World War II drama, also starring Shirley Maclaine, Christopher Plummer and Mischa Barton.

On 4 October 2009, it was announced that Fricker would make another return to Casualty as Megan for four episodes, before her character was killed off. This episodes was aired on August 7th 2010.

 personal life
Fricker currently lives in The Liberties in Dublin. She was previously married to director Barry Davies. She says that her loves include her pet dogs, drinking Guinness, reading poetry and playing snooker. (She once stated that she had taken on the whole crew of My Left Foot. "I played pool against 17 of them, and beat them all," Brenda said).

Fricker has been reported to be difficult to work with, and has been called "too reclusive for her own good sometimes." She is also known for her outspoken views on a variety of matters.

  • If you're doing a scene and you think you're doing it wrong, just swear in the middle of it and then the director can't use it. It's an arrogant way of doing it, but unfortunately it's the only way of self-protection. You have to be a bit anarchic sometimes.
  • When you are lying drunk at the airport you're Irish. When you win an Oscar you're British.
  • Megan was the mother we all want, full of love and understanding, I'm none of that, I'm not a mother and never will be and I wasn't even a very good wife, I'm not even a good nurse to my father now he's old and frail. I'm much more rebellious that Megan. I couldn't do her job ever. Just go down to the hospital and watch what they do for an eighth of the salary I earned pretending to be a nurse. It makes you blush. You break your heart with people being kicked in the teeth by life. I couldn't handle it, I'd be reduced to tears.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Brenda Fricker", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.