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A St. Patrick’s Day Tribute to Some of the Greatest Irish Actors

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with movies starring some of the greatest stars in movie history.  If you haven’t seen all of these, you deserve a pinch!

1. Maureen O’Hara — the fiery red hair was made for technicolor and she was ideally cast opposite John Wayne in films like “The Quiet Man” and “McLintock.”  I especially loved her as the mom in “Miracle on 34th Street” and “The Parent Trap.”

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2. Colin Ferrell — he is electrifying as a bad guy but willing to go all out in a comedy like “Horrible Bosses.” I especially loved him as a sensitive gay man in “A Home at the End of the World,” and his appearance with Elmo on “Sesame Street.”

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3. Saoirse Ronan — one of the most talented young stars working today, she will soon be seen as the lead in “The Host,” from “Twilight” author Stephanie Meyer.  She first gained international stardom in “Atonement.”

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4. Liam Neeson — an Oscar winner for “Shindler’s List,” Neeson is equally at home in serious drama and action films like “Taken.”

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5. Pierce Brosnan — possibly the most elegant of the James Bonds, Brosnan also played a very different kind of spy in “The Matador” and sang (or tried to) in “Mama Mia.”

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6. Peter O’Toole — best known for “Lawrence of Arabia,” but his most endearing performance is probably the swashbuckling movie star guesting on a live television show in “My Favorite Year.” And don’t miss him as a movie director in “The Stunt Man” and an art expert turned thief in “How to Steal a Million.”

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7. Jonathan Rhys Meyers — he was Henry VIII on HBO’s “The Tudors” and the soccer coach in “Bend it Like Beckham.”

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8. Chris O’Dowd — Kristin Wiig could not resist him in “Bridesmaids,” and he was equally appealing in “Pirate Radio” and the British sitcom “The IT Crowd.”  He plays the manager of a girl group in this week’s release “The Sapphires.”

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9.  Daniel Day-Lewis — he played Abraham Lincoln last year, but he has also played real-life Irish icons Christy Brown (“My Left Foot”) and Gerry Conlan (“In the Name of the Father”).

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10. Pat O’Brien — this dependable character actor starred as Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne.

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