By Shelley Marsden
Brenda Fricker, the first Irishwoman to win an Oscar (for her turn as Christy Brown’s mother in Jim Sheridan’s My Left Foot), has said she is in semi-retirement and doubts she will get involved again in films or theatre.
Talking at the Galway Film Fleadh where she won a Lifetime Achievement Award, the Dublin actress said after forty years in the business, she was doubtful of a return.
She added that she might be willing to make an exception for certain directors – like Virginia Gilbert, who she made A Long Way from Home with, or Tom Fitzgerald who directed her in Cloudburst.
Fricker said she had not been in good health and was only recently out of hospital, adding that the experience had given her a first-hand look at the pressures nurses face.
She told the audience that she nearly missed out on her career-changing role in My Left Foot, explaining that it was only for her then husband, TV producer Barry Davies, that she was able to take on the role.
“I was busy doing Casualty at the time and I wasn’t pushed about doing film at all,” she said. “But my husband moved mountains and got the dates changed.”
The actress spent five years on the BBC One hospital drama and was much loved for her character, Megan Roach, the motherly figure of the ED.