Barry Fitzgerald (10 March 1888 – 14 January 1961) was a much-beloved Irish character actor during The Golden Age of Hollywood.
Born William Joseph Shields in Dublin, he worked as a clerk with that city's Board of Trade before getting into acting. He got his start performing the works of Sean O'Casey at the famed Abbey Theatre, including Juno and the Paycock and The Plough and the Stars. He quickly found his niche as comic relief. His earliest film credits were reprising his roles in O'Casey's plays for film. He was a favorite of director John Ford, who cast him in many of his classic films, including How Green Was My Valley and The Quiet Man.
Fitzgerald's Star-Making Role was the irascible priest Father Fitzgibbons in the Bing Crosby classic Going My Way, which won him both (unwanted) celebrity and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Barry Fitzgerald retired from acting in 1959 and moved back to Dublin. He died of a heart attack two years later at the age of 72.
His younger half-brother, Arthur Shields, was also an actor and appeared with him in several films.
- The Plough and the Stars (1936) — first collaboration with John Ford
- Bringing Up Baby (1938)
- Four Men and a Prayer (1938) — second collaboration with John Ford
- The Dawn Patrol (1938)
- The Long Voyage Home (1940) — third collaboration with John Ford
- The Sea Wolf (1941)
- How Green Was My Valley (1941) — fourth collaboration with John Ford
- Going My Way (1944)
- None but the Lonely Heart (1944)
- And Then There Were None (1945)
- The Naked City (1948)
- The Quiet Man (1952) — fifth and final collaboration with John Ford
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955, 1 episode)