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Barry Fitzgerald (1888–1961) was a much-beloved Irish character actor during The Golden Age of Hollywood.
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Born William Joseph Shields, he was originally an insurance salesman, he came into acting later in life. He got his start performing the works of Sean O'Casey at Dublin's 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 roles were reprising his roles O'Casey's plays for film. He was a favorite of John Ford who cast him in many of his classic films including How Green Was My Valley and The Quiet Man. His half-brother Arthur Shields, was also an actor and appeared in many of Ford's films too.

His 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 would retire from acting in 1959 and moved to Dublin.

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