Milo O'Shea

Active - 1951 - 2003  |   Born - Jun 2, 1926 in Dublin, Ireland  |   Died - Apr 2, 2013   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

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Blustery, bushy-eyebrowed Irish character-actor Milo O'Shea was on stage from the age of 10, at which time he became a protégé of Sir John Gielgud. At 19, O'Shea joined Dublin's Abbey Players, where he remained for well over two decades. He made his Broadway debut in 1968's Staircase, and later starred as the gladhanding priest in the original stage production of Bill C. Davis' Mass Appeal (a role played in the 1984 movie version by Jack Lemmon). In films from 1951, O'Shea was cast as Leopold Bloom in Ulysses (1967), Mister Zero in The Adding Machine (1969), Durand-Durand in Barbarella (1968), and scene-stealing Judge Hoyle in The Verdict (1981). His TV roles include Dr. Stanislaus Lotaki on the pioneering miniseries QB VII (1973) and eccentric cartoonist Abner Bevis in the short-lived superhero satire Once a Hero (1987). O'Shea continued to work in television through the 1990s and early 2000s, popping up in guest roles on Frasier, Spin City and Oz. His final role was as Chief Justice Ashland on two episodes of The West Wing in 2004. He passed away in 2013 at the age of 86.

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Factsheet

  • Father was a singer; mother was a harpist and dancer.
  • Starred in a radio adaptation of Oliver Twist at age 10 and became a professional actor in a touring troupe at age 17.
  • Worked as an elevator operator at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
  • Nominated for two Tony Awards.
  • Memorable film roles include kindhearted Friar Laurence in 1968's Romeo and Juliet and unhinged scientist Durand Durand in 1968's Barbarella. (The latter character inspired the rock-group name Duran Duran.)
  • Appeared in TV's Cheers, The Golden Girls and The West Wing.
  • Acting career spanned from the 1950s to the 2000s.