Roma Downey's life has been more than touched by an angel
“If I were to look back at my career," says the producer, author and actor, "I think my greatest achievement is very simple. I’ve been able to make choices where I could glorify God.”
BY: Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
we were accurate and true to the Bible, but obviously we’re making a movie, and so we breathed creativity into it.”
“Mark,” is Roma’s husband – Mark Burnett, the producer of one of TV’s most-popular shows ever, “Survivor.” He is also the creator of TV”s “The Apprentice,” “The Voice,” “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? “ “Shark Tank,” “Oprah”s All-Stars,” “Martha Stewart, “ “Sarah Palin”s Alaska” and scores of other shows. Recently, he made TV history by having a renewed series on each of the four major broadcast networks.
He and Downey share great expectations about “The Bible” mini-series. “It offers God’s Word to people who may never have an opportunity to step inside a church,” Downey says, “but they may get a chance to turn a TV set on. As someone who has loved Jesus my whole life, it was wonderful to get to step into the role of His blessed mother. It was a great privilege. It was just extraordinary.”
But Roma will always be known as “Monica,” the angel. What are the chances of a “Touched by an Angel” reunion movie? Nothing’s planned, she says. The show concluded its nine-year run on CBS in 2003. Even so, Downey continues her close friendship with fellow “angel” and co-star Della Reese – who is an ordained Christian pastor and performed Roma and Mark’s wedding.
The show is enjoying new life in re-runs – a few weeks ago, cable’s GMC network scored its best-ever weekend ratings with a “Touched by an Angel” marathon. The network is now airing episodes weeknights at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
“It’s fantastic that it’s on GMC,” says Downey. “It’s reaching a whole new generation of people with its beautiful message of faith. I loved being on that show. I loved it. I loved playing Monica. I loved being the messenger, the believer. I loved being part of a message that went out weekly reminding people there is a God and this is God’s purpose for you and God will be part of your life and most importantly that God loves you.
“I got to deliver that message every week for almost 10 years to millions of people a week.”
“Still to this day, wherever I am in airports or shopping malls people tell me, ‘Oh, that show has changed my life.’ or ‘That show helped my family heal’ or ‘You’ll never know what that show did for us’ and so I’m thrilled that it’s back at a regular spot in the television and has a chance to heal and touch people’s lives all over again.
“I’ve been there, too, needing an angel — I can tell you. Over the years I’ve found myself wishing sometimes my angel would show up. I could use a little uplift, a little reminder.
“And then you know, and it’s available to everybody at all times.