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Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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Thanks, JackFavell and cinemafan, those O'Sullivan pics dragged me out of my "Oh no, the bradford pears are blooming!" allergic funk.


Edited by: patful on Mar 16, 2010 10:35 PM

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Happy St Patrick's day to my favorite Pat and to all who will be wearin' the green.


As for me, I'll be takin' me medicine with Vic in about eighteen hours.

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We know her as 'Ma' or 'Mother'. But Sara Allgood was very much more than the quintessential Irish (or Welsh, or English) movie matriarch.


She was born in Dublin in 1883, and was a member of Inghinidhe na h?ireann, a nationalist women's group formed in 1900.




At nineteen she became a member of the Irish National Theatre Society. She joined the Abbey Theatre in 1904, and triumphed as the lead in Lady Gregory's *Spreading the News.* She went on to appear in productions of Yeat's *Cathleen ni Houlihan* and Synge's *Riders to the Sea.* Within a short time, she became Ireland's foremost actress.



Sara Allgood by Robert Gregory


While on tour in Australia playing *Peg O My Heart,* she met and fell in love with Gerald Henson. They married in 1916. In 1917, Henson died in the massive influenza epidemic which was spreading across Europe. In January of 1918, Allgood gave birth to a little girl, who only survived one hour.


After playing several seasons in London, Sara returned to Dublin and the Abbey to play Juno in Sean O'Casey's *Juno and the Paycock.* The 1924 role was one of the most influential in Irish theatre history.




After a 1940 revival, Brooks Atkinson wrote, ?Some day, somewhere, some young people will be thinking enviously of the time when Sean O?Casey was writing mighty plays and Barry Fitzgerald and Sara Allgood were around to act them . . . . [This] will seem like a golden age.?



Sara as the Widow Quinn and J.M. Kerrigan as Shawn Keogh in *The Playboy of the Western World*

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I'm in tears! Thank you for the lovely tribute to a wonderful, wonderful actress, one who makes me smile every time I see her and who's "Beth Morgan" will live with me forever. Few characters get to me like that one, she's so real to me.


She must have been a really strong woman, to have borne so much sorrow right on the heels of happiness. Yet she kept on going and what lovely words by Brooks Atkinson. How I would adore to have seen her on stage!

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MissG- I knew you would appreciate this.


To tell you the truth, I was simply looking for photos of Sara when I stumbled across her story. I am almost ashamed of myself for never looking into her history before.


As I was writing the description of her tribulations, she suddenly showed up on my TV, in a small, delicate scene with Dennis Morgan in *My Wild Irish Rose*. She spoke about Chauncey's father, who had died long before, and I swear, it moved me so much, just knowing her background. She was a real gem, and I am just glad she has a following here on the message boards. She was an amazing woman.

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I too often fail to look into the backgrounds of these performers that I take for granted. So often they yield life stories that are far more interesting than many "star" profiles. Thanks for giving Sara her moment.

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