An Irish actress with strong roots in the theater, Brenda Fricker has excelled onscreen thanks to a matronly appearance that lends itself well to roles which call for an older woman with strong motherly instincts. Fricker started out working in local theater productions in Ireland, and continued on-stage with a stint at the National Theatre in London; before long, the talented rising starlet was taking the stage with both The Royal Shakespeare Company and Great Britain's Court Theater Company. Though, by the mid-'80s, Fricker had already garnered an impressive list of credits thanks to appearances in such made-for-television features as High Kampf (1973) and Your Man from 6 Counties (1976), it was her role as Nurse Roach in the popular U.K. series Casualty that first brought her to the attention of British television viewers. Fricker remained with the series for four years, and it was during that time that she courted international recognition with her role in the acclaimed 1989 drama My Left Foot. Cast as the determined mother of a talented writer and painter who suffers from cerebral palsy, Fricker turned in a memorable performance that placed her high on the list of A-list actors and earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Though such follow-up efforts as the miniseries Relative Strangers (1999) delivered on the promise shown in My Left Foot, it was roles in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993), and Masterminds (1997) that kept Fricker's face familiar to stateside audiences. In 1998, she stepped into a leading role in the period drama Painted Angels, playing a sympathetic madam. In the early 2000s, Fricker's career continued to flourish on both U.K. and Canadian television, and in roles in such high-profile projects as Veronica Guerin (2003) and Going Down: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss (2004).