Ireland at the Oscars

Ireland at the Oscars

For a country with a relatively small cinematic output, Ireland has performed quite well when it comes to bringing home Academy Awards.
NewsFour takes a look at the history of Irish victories on Hollywood’s big night.

1938 – Irish literary giant George Bernard Shaw receives the Best Screenplay award for the screen adaptation of his play ‘Pygmalion’. It would later be adapted once more as ‘My Fair Lady’ and scoop no less than eight awards.

1940 – Cedric Gibbons, who had been raised in Dublin before leaving for the U.S as a teenager, wins Best Art Direction for ‘Pride &; Prejudice’. He was well acquainted with the Oscar by then, having designed the famous statuette in 1928.

1945 – Dublin thespian Barry Fitzgerald wins Best Supporting Actor for his role as a priest in ‘Going My Way’. Bizarrely he had also been nominated for Best Actor for the same role, the first and last time this anomaly occurred.

1982 – Make-up artist Michelle Burke from Kildare takes home the Best Make-Up award for ‘Quest for Fire’. Eleven years later she would receive a second, this time for ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’.

1985 – Another win for Art Direction, this time Josie McAvin for her work on ‘Out of Africa’.

1989 – For her part as Bridget, mother of Christy Brown, in ‘My Left Foot’, Brenda Fricker receives the Best Supporting Actress award.

1992 – Neil Jordan takes Ireland’s second Best Screenplay Award for ‘The Crying Game’.

2005 – Martin McDonagh, who went on to direct the features ‘In Bruges’ and ‘Seven Psychopaths’, makes his name in Hollywood, winning Best Short Film for ‘Six Shooter’.

2007 – Glen Hansard’s song ‘Falling Slowly’, written for the film ‘Once’, wins Best Original Song.

2010 – Dubliner Richard Baneham is a member of the group who received the Best Visual Effects Award for their work on ‘Avatar’, the highest grossing movie of all time.

Those of Irish descent have fared well over the years too with Daniel Day Lewis, Grace Kelly, Anjelica Huston, Spencer Tracy, Sean Penn, and directors John Ford and John Huston amongst the list of winners.

By: Eric Hillis