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In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, let me honor my favorite Irish actors and actresses including those of Irish descent.

  1. Gabriel Byrne of In Treatment. I am slowing getting through my DVDs for Season 2 and am loving the intense, intelligent drama
  2. John Mahoney, who’s in season 2 of In Treatment, and is a memberof Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater. I’ve seen him in several plays there including. Mahoney is great on stage, the big screen or the idiot box. A piece of trivia, when I attended an event for the Steppenwolf, Mahoney pulled out the names of raffle winners and as he did this I had this strong feeling that I’d win. I did. So we shook hands when he gave me my prize.
  3. Meg Ryan has always been a favorite. When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail are among the best romantic comedies ever made.
  4. Aidan Quinn. He was great in Legends of the Fall and many other films. He’s also from Steppenwolf, though I’ve never seen him on stage.
  5. Moira Kelly from The West Wing and she was one of the best things on One Tree Hill, a guilty pleasure of mine. She also starred with Martin Sheen in Entertaining Angels, a biopic of Dorothy Day’s Life.
  6. Sean Connery. He’s got the tough, wise man down. Never saw him as James Bond, though I’m sure he did well. (Nothing wrong with that series just haven’t gotten to it. So little time, so many movies.)
  7. Glee’s Jane Lynch, her sarcasm is just delicious and she’s also great in Best in Show one of my favorite comedy films.
  8. The Glee Project’s Damian McGinty exudes “Erin Go Bragh” not that I’m thrilled with the lazy stereotyped role he’s got on Glee. Still glad this Celtic Thunder perfomer won the reality show competition.
  9. Bonnie Hunt, who I so wish was on television at least weekly. She’s both funny and smart and I hope someone gives her lots of money to make whatever film or show she’d like.
  10. Denis Leary plays up his Irish heritage in his humor and in Rescue Me, a show I found compelling, yet too graphic for my tastes. So I recommend it although I just can’t watch it myself.
  11. Martin Sheen‘s role as Jeb Barrtlett has forever earned him a place in my heart. The West Wing was such a great show. Many’s the time I wish he was President.
  12. Diane Keaton‘s career from The Godfather to Annie Hall to Something’s Gotta Give her work always carries and imprint of wit and dignity.

As for Irish American actors, the list goes on and on.

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