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Siobhan McKenna Biography

  • Profession: Actor
  • Born: May 24, 1923
  • Died: Nov 16, 1986
  • Birth Name: Siobhan Giollamhuire Mac Cionnaith

Actress Siobhan McKenna was raised in a cultured Belfast household where nothing but Gaelic was spoken. Accordingly, she made her stage debut at Galway's Gaelic Theatre in 1940, then moved on to English-language productions at Dublin's Abbey Theatre. McKenna's first London production was 1947's the White Steed; her Broadway bow, as Miss Madrigal in [[Feature~V8803~The Chalk Garden~thechalkgarden]], occurred seven years later. In 1959, McKenna emulated such actresses as [[Performer~P5810~Sarah Bernhardt~sarahbernhardt]] and [[Performer~P1508~Judith Anderson~judithanderson]] by successfully tackling the male role of Hamlet. Explaining her skimpy movie output by noting "It's mostly a theatre bird I am," McKenna nonetheless contributed cherished performances in such films as [[Feature~V27431~The King of Kings~kingofkings]] (1961) (as the Virgin Mary), [[Feature~V38402~Playboy of the Western World~theplayboyofthewesternworld]] (1962) and [[Feature~V14162~Doctor Zhivago~doctorzhivago]] (1965). McKenna's American following was largely predicated on her many appearances on the TV anthology [[Feature~V287867~Hallmark Hall of Fame~hallmarkhalloffame[tvseries]]]. Siobhan McKenna was long married to fellow Abbey Theatre veteran [[Performer~P53395~Dennis O'Dea~denisodea]]. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi