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Cyril Cusack (1910 - 1993)

Cyril Cusack (1910-1993) was the founder of an acting dynasty. His four daughters (Sinead, Sorcha, Niamh and Catherine) all became actresses. He began acting as a child, appearing in a silent movie version of East Lynne. At the age of 21, Cyril Cusack joined Dublin's renowned Abbey Theatre. Between then and 1945 he performed in over sixty productions, particularly excelling in the plays of Sean O'Casey. He received accolades when he took on what was to become one of his favourite roles – first at the Abbey in 1938 and then the following year in London – a role which he called ‘one of the most difficult parts for an actor’, and was to reprise many times: Christy Mahon in The Playboy of the Western World. That same year he played the Covey in The Plough and The Stars on the London stage, and soon joined the prestigious Old Vic theatre company.

He played in more than 120 stage productions in his long career, and made over 130 film and TV appearances. In 1947, Cusack formed his own company, and staged productions in Dublin, Paris and New York. In 1963 he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, and played several seasons with them. In 1967's The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Franco Zeffirelli, Cusack plays Grumio, the comic servant of the bombastic Petrucchio (Richard Burton). Cusack’s last stage performance was in Chekhov's The Three Sisters, in which three of his daughters played the sisters.



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