Pauline Flanagan

Actress

Olivier-winning Irish thesp Pauline Flanagan, who acted in hundreds of plays in her five-decade career, died in New York on June 28, the day before her 78th birthday. She had been battling lung cancer.

Born in County Sligo, Ireland, Flanagan drew on her heritage when acting in works by Irish playwrights such as Brian Friel and Sean O’Casey. More recently based in Gotham, she often appeared at Off Broadway’s Irish Repertory Theater in plays including “Philadelphia, Here I Come!,” “Summer” and “Grandchild of Kings.”

She returned to “Philadelphia, Here I Come!” in 1994 for her final Broadway appearance. Her Main Stem debut was in the 1957 production of Dylan Thomas’ “Under Milk Wood.”

Other Broadway credits include “God and Kate Murphy” (1959); “Step on a Crack” (1962); “Antigone” (1971); “The Crucible” (1972); “The Plough and the Stars” (1973); “The Innocents” (1976); “The Father” (1981); “Medea,” with Zoe Caldwell (1982); “Steaming” (1982); “Corpse!” (1986); and “Lost in Yonkers” (1991).

In 2001, Flanagan won an Olivier Award for her perf as the wisecracking matriarch in Frank McGuinness’ “Dolly West’s Kitchen.”

In Ireland, she performed with the O’Casey Theater Co. in “Shadow of a Gunman” and “Three Shouts From a Hill” and in “Tarry Flynn” at Dublin’s Abbey Theater.

She appeared in a 1960 television version of Irish classic “Juno and the Paycock” as well as telepics “Rage of Angels” in 1983 and its 1986 sequel and mini “The Best of Families.”

Feature credits include 1998’s “Night Train,” with John Hurt and Brenda Blethyn, which a review in Variety said, “Stage great Flanagan is, once again, a harridan to be reckoned with.”

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