Milo O’Shea, an Irish actor-recognized by his black bushy eyebrows and playful smile— whose films include “Ulyssess” and “Barbarella,” died April 2 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease in Gotham. He was 86.
O’Shea, both a stage and screen actor, was born in Dublin on June 2, 1926. His father was a professional singer and his mother was a harpist and ballet dancer. His first leading screen role was in the 1967 film adaption of James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” when he played Leopold Bloom.
O’Shea’s debut performance on Broadway was the 1968 production of “Staircase,” where he played a gay hairdresser. In that same year, he played the role of Friar Laurence in Franco Zeffirelli’s film adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” and the mad scientist Durand Durand in Roger Vadim’s science-fiction fantasy “Barbarella.”
Other films in O’Shea’s repertoire include “The Verdict” starring Paul Newman and “That Matchmaker,” where he “played Irish” depicting an Irish character, which he did quite frequently.
In addition to film, O’Shea, appeared on sitcoms like “The Golden Girls,” “Cheers” and “Frasier” and played the chief justice of the Supreme Court on “The West Wing.”
He was twice nominated for Tony Awards.
O’Shea is survived by his wife, Kitty Sullivan; his sons, Colm and Steven; and three grandchildren.