Acting Irish in Hollywood

From Fitzgerald to Farrell

By Ruth Barton

The first academic study of Irish film stars in Hollywood, Acting Irish in Hollywood contains ten essays on leading Irish stars: Barry Fitzgerald, George Brent, Maureen O'Sullivan, Maureen O'Hara, Constance Smith, Richard Harris, Stephen Rea, Gabriel Byrne, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Farrell. Drawing on theories of emigration, ethnicity, gender and performance, this study is both analytical and historical. It discusses the reception of these actors in America and the kind of roles they have played, paying particular attention to the history and evolution of the Irish stereotype in Hollywood cinema. Drawing on press reviews, interviews and studio publicity, we see how these actors were promoted and how they used the media to create images of themselves. Many of them have also enjoyed and continue to enjoy careers in Ireland, on stage and screen. How different were these performances? What is the relationship between Irish stage and screen? How has local Irish filmmaking benefited from the international fame enjoyed by these actors? Why has it been so much easier for male stars to succeed in Hollywood? All these questions are addressed in Acting Irish in Hollywood, which also aims to remind readers of Ireland's forgotten film stars, particularly George Brent and Constance Smith.

251 pages

Publication Date: 5/1/2006
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9780716533443

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