Born in Ireland, Roma Downey studied at the London Drama Studio and earned numerous Broadway and off-Broadway stage credits, including a U.S. tour with Dublin's Abbey Players. Though she is most well-known for playing Monica on the CBS dramatic series Touched By an Angel, Downey also played Jackie Kennedy in the 1991 TV miniseries A Woman Named Jackie. She also appeared in several highly sentimental made-for-TV movies like Borrowed Hearts and A Child Is Missing. In 1998, she played Annie Sullivan to Moira Kelly's Helen Keller in Monday After the Miracle. Staying with emotive dramas, she next played Cassie Whitman in the U.K. television movies A Test of Love and A Secret Life. For her next few romantic comedies, she played opposite Tim Matheson in Second Honeymoon and opposite George Newbern in Sons of Mistletoe. Downey finally broke through to a leading role in a feature film with the family comedy Hairy Tale. Downey continued to work throughout the mid-2000s, and took on supporting roles in Funky Monkey (2004) and Come Dance at My Wedding (2009).
Biography by Andrea LeVasseur
- Both her parents died from heart attacks before her mid-twenties.
- Aspired to be a painter until she discovered acting in college.
- Studied acting at the Drama Studio London.
- A spokesperson for the charity Operation Smile, she traveled to numerous countries (including Vietnam and Honduras) to help children prepare for facial-deformity surgery.
- Drawing from her experiences as a single mom, she wrote a children's book called Love Is a Family that was published in 2001.
- Touched by an Angel costar Della Reese (an ordained minister) officiated at her 2007 wedding to TV reality mogul Mark Burnett.