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Eithne Dunne
Eithne Dunne as Lady Haloran in Dementia 13 (1963) (entire movie)
Born1919 (1919)
Died22 December 1988(1988-12-22) (aged 68–69)

Eithne Dunne (1919 – 22 December 1988) was an Irish stage and screen actress.


She was born in Belfast, Ireland.[1] She first started acting in Dublin and made her first appearances at the Abbey Theatre in 1939. She remained there for most of the 1940s. In the 1950s she performed at the Gate Theatre, after which she made her first appearance on Broadway.

In 1960 she took part in the highly successful Abbey touring production of The Playboy of the Western World. In the mid-1960s she was resident and performed in a number of plays at the Bristol Old Vic, including Henry V, Othello, All In Good Time and The Rivals.[1]

Although primarily a stage actress, she appeared in a number of TV series and motion pictures, including Shake Hands with the Devil, Dementia 13, and others.

Later life and death

In 1942 she married the actor-playwright Gerard Healy. Healy the actor-playwright who died on the 9 March 1963 in London.[2] After playing in front of an enthusiastic audience in Hugh Leonard's Stephen D, her husband Healy collapsed in theatre and died. He was then burred in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Harold's Cross.[3] In 1971, Dunne signed her last contract with the Abbey Theatre, she played the role as the Mother in Jack White's Today The Bullfinch, and in Tom Murphy's The Morning After Optimism.[1]

Dunne died 21 December 1988, in a London Hospital aged 69.[4][5][6] Dunne's funeral mass was celebrated in Donnybrook church, Dublin,and she was buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery, alongside her husband.[7] Dunne is remembered for her career in acting, especially performing for many years in the Abbey Theatre, where her career began. She is remembered by many Irish and English companies, including the Radio Eireann Repertory Company, as she was a well-known member.[8]


The Abbey Theatre
Eithne Dunne had many roles in the Abbey Theatre. She had a strong connection to the theatre

Dunne's daughter, Anne, was a cosmetologist in Switzerland.[9] Dunne performed in The Playboy Of the Western World a number of times and went to New York with the play.[10] Her work was also experienced in the Dublin Film Festival in September 1961 when she performed as Mrs. Warren in Mrs. Warrens Profession by George Bernard Shaw.[11] Her work also was experienced on the screen in the movie 8 o'clock walk directed by Lance Comfort where she played Mrs. Evans, this was a big opportunity which caused her to leave Ireland for Britain.[12] She travelled to New York which paved the way for other actresses to also go to the United States.[13] Dunne was featured in many famous Irish playwrights work both in New York and in Ireland. Her work has been highly commended by fellow playwrights as well as within well regarded news articles.[14]

Dunne expressed a keen interest in having other actresses have the same opportunities she had as she was one of few actresses who was able to make a living from her work in plays and films at the time. She explained how acting is a precarious career and how she found that her work in both the Gate Theatre and the Abbey Theatre allowed her to build up her repertoire and therefore pass her experiences onto other actresses. Dunne's association with Michael MacLiammoir in plays such as Wuthering Heights and her involvement with Longford Production since their establishment in 1944 have further cemented her place in Irish theatrical history.[15] Fellow actors and actresses often praised her work, and many of them travelled to Ireland to attend her memorial mass and commemorate her life.[16]

Partial filmography


  1. ^ a b c "Ulster Actors". Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  2. ^[bare URL]
  3. ^[bare URL]
  4. ^ Feeney, Tom (2009). "Dunne, Eithne". Dictionary of Irish Biography - Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  5. ^[bare URL]
  6. ^[bare URL]
  7. ^[bare URL]
  8. ^[bare URL]
  9. ^ Kent, Kay (17 March 1971). "Colin Blakey and Eithne Dunne". The Irish Times Retrieved date 2020-11-19.
  10. ^ O'Connor, Partick (February 1961). "Chronicle Theatre". The Furrow Retrieved Date 2020-11-19. 12: 112 – via JSTOR.
  11. ^ "News and Queries". The Shaw Review Retrieved Date 2020-11-19. 4: 33. September 1961 – via JSTOR.
  12. ^ "EIGHT O'CLOCK WALK". Monthly Film Bulletin Retrieved Date 2020-11-19. 21: 39. 1 January 1954 – via ProQuest.
  13. ^ "Dublin Actress Leaves For New York". The Irish Times Retrieved date 2020-11-19. 23 September 1946.
  14. ^ "Talks With Miss Dunne". The Irish Times Retrieved date 2020-11-19. 7 December 1946.
  15. ^ "Eithne Dunne, the actress dies". The Irish Times Retrieved date 2020-11-19. 22 December 1988.
  16. ^ "Memorial Mass for Eithne Dunne". The Irish Times Retrieved date 2020-11-19. 20 March 1989.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 September 2021, at 12:53
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