Micheál MacLiammóir

1899 - 1978

Micheal MacLimmoir was a theatrical giant who dominated Irish theatre for over 50 years. Actor, designer, playwright and brilliant raconteur he was very much his own creation. He cut an imposing figure under the spotlight and in real life dressed flamboyantly wearing full make-up at all times and a jet black hairpiece. When he died in 1978 aged 79 The Irish Times wrote that 'Nobody can assess the contribution that Micheal MacLiammoir made to Irish theatre'. Throughout his life MacLiammoir closed guarded the fact that he was not in fact Irish at all but had been born in London. As Alfred Willmore he had been a child actor on the London stage in the company of Noel Coward. He later travelled widely throughout Europe, studying arts and languages, before reaching Ireland where he met his future partner, the actor Hilton Edwards. In 1928 the two men started the world famous Gate Theatre in Dublin and among the early players were James Mason and Orson Welles. MacLiammoir appeared on Broadway

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