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Roma Downey Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (8) | Salary (1)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 6 May 1960Derry, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, UK
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Roma was raised in Derry, then went to the Brighton Art College in England where she received her bachelor's. After that, she attended the London Drama Studio, where she was awarded Most Promising Student of the Year when she graduated. Roma was nominated for the Helen Hayes Best Actress Award in 1991 while touring the US with Abbey Theatre's production of "The Playboy of the Western World". Her stage credits include the Broadway production of "The Circle", opposite Rex Harrison, and some Off-Broadway Productions, including "Love's Labour's Lost", "Tamara" and "Arms and the Man". She is a beloved Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actress from CBS hit series "Touched by an Angel and Producer of the TV smash hit "The Bible," in which she also play Mary the Mother of Jesus. Roma is married to producer Mark Burnett. They have three children, Reilly Marie Anspaugh, Cameron Burnett, and James Burnett.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: <jarrell@vt.edu>

A celebrated, Emmy-nominated television and stage actress, Roma Downey is most known for her decade of work as the tenderhearted angel, Monica. She was in over 200 episodes of "Touched by an Angel" (1994)_ and reached a weekly audience of over 20 million. Even more impressive, her role as Mary the Mother of Jesus on "The Bible" series had an audience of over 100 million. Roma was also a producer on "The Bible" series as well as the subsequent feature film "Son of God", along with husband Mark Burnett under their LightWorkers Media Banner (LightWorkers Media [us]).

She is a producer, author, philanthropist, and a devoted wife and mother. Throughout the years, her work has inspired millions of people in USA and around the world

Roma Downey was born on May 6, 1960 in Derry, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, UK. She was raised in Northern Ireland. Roma has a B.A. from Brighton University and trained as an actress at the Drama Studio of London. Before moving to the United States she performed with The Abbey Theatre, Irelands National Theatre, and came to the USA with a production of "The Playboy of the Western World" and was nominated for the Helen Hayes Best Actress Award in 1991. On Broadway she made her debut opposite Rex Harrison in "The Circle", and performed with the New York Shakespeare Company, in productions by Shaw and Ibsen at the Roundabout Theatre Company and the Geffen Theatre in Los Angeles. Roma also played Jacqueline Kennedy in the Emmy award winning six-hour mini series for NBC called A Woman Named Jackie (1991), was listed as one of Peoples most beautiful people of the year, and hosted Saturday Night Live.

Ms. Downey not only starred in, but executive produced seven television movies for CBS. Some of which were "Borrowed Hearts" with Eric Mc Cormack, "Second Honeymoon" with Tim Matheson and "Monday After the Miracle". She starred along side John Schneider in "Come Dance at My Wedding" and can be seen in "Keeping Up With The Randall's" both which will be on the Hallmark Channel.

Roma Downey also authored several books, among them: Love Is a Family, Son of God, Love Makes a Family Display, A Story of God and All of Us: A Novel, A Story of Easter and All of Us, A Story of God and All of Us: Inspirations for Every Day of the Year, and A Story of Christmas and All of Us. She has also hosted a series for the PAX Network called "Its A Miracle" and released an inspirational CD called "Healing Angel".

Ms. Downey's passions reach far beyond acting and producing, for many years she has been an active volunteer with the charity "Operation Smile". Operation Smile provides free surgeries for children who suffer from cleft lips or cleft palettes. Roma has been a big supporter and an active spokesperson for 15 years. She has also traveled on many international medical missions to Vietnam, Honduras and Nicaragua and was accompanied by her husband Mark Burnett and their three children, Reilly, James, and Cameron, to a mission in Jordan.

Roma teamed up with writer Phil Lollar ("Adventures in Odyssey") to produce an animated series, "Little Angels". The programs are built with solid Christian values and wonderful life lessons told in a way that young children will understand them. It has received numerous endorsements, including the Seal-of-Approval from the international organization, MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).

Back in 2012, Roma teamed up with her husband and renowned producer, Mark Burnett, to tell the story of "The Bible" on the History Channel. This five-part, 10-hour docudrama aired in 2013. The series was shot on location and used state-of-the art visual effects. Using up-to-the-minute production techniques, The Bible series was landmark television programming, combining unforgettable stories with live action and state-of-the-art computer-generated imagery (CGI). From Genesis to Revelation, History illuminated The Bible with revealing insights into the life and times of some of its most iconic characters. It will feature some of the most famous stories ever written - from Noah's Ark and the Exodus to Daniel in the Lion's Den to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. The Bible continues to be the best-selling book in America every year and last year alone, more than 25 million copies were sold.

Under their production Company LightWorkers Media (LightWorkers Media [us]), Roma nd Mark are working on a follow up series to the Bible for NBC called A.D., which follows the disciples, Jesus' mother Mary, and key political and religious leaders after Christ's crucifixion. LWM also acquired the rights to Alice Hoffman's epic tale of four women living in Massada, The Dovekeepers, which is being made into 4 hour minis series for CBS. Finally, LightWorkers is also producing Little Boy [us], following young American boy struggles to achieve the impossible...bring his father back from World War II, which will be released on February 27, 2015.

Downey will also be the Executive Producer on the retelling of Ben Hur. The project is helmed by MGM and Paramount Studios. Burnett will be a producer on the project and it will be released Feb. 26, 2016.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Rosey Mongeau

Spouse (3)

Mark Burnett (28 April 2007 - present)
David Anspaugh (24 November 1995 - 15 March 1998) (divorced) (1 child)
Leland Orser (1987 - 1989) (divorced)

Trivia (21)

Her name, Roma originates from both her grandmother's names, Rose and Mary.
One child; a daughter, Reilly Marie (b.1996)
Chosen by "People" magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World.
Mother, Maureen, died when Roma was 10.
Has two sisters, Jacinta McLaughlin and Ann Flood.
The Irish lass was once turned down for a TV commercial for Irish Spring Soap because she didn't sound Irish enough.
She was one of the two women originally considered for the role of Xena: Warrior Princess (1995), along with Vanessa Angel. She was offered the role that made Lucy Lawless famous but turned it down as she was offered the role of Monica on Touched by an Angel (1994) at the same time.
Eloped and married her first husband, Leland Orser, in a Roman Catholic ceremony in Rome, Italy.
Cannot type and admits that she pecks at the keys when typing emails and using her computer.
Favorite film: Brief Encounter (1945).
Learned to play the piano as a child, but can no longer play.
Studied Irish dancing as a child.
Has two brothers, Lawrence who is two years older than her and a much older brother John, who is a Roman Catholic priest.
Living with Survivor (2000) creator, Mark Burnett (2004).
Her daughter, Reilly Anspaugh, was an extra and also had a few non-speaking roles on several later episodes of Touched by an Angel (1994) and in a few of Roma's television movies.
Della Reese is the godmother of her daughter Reilly.
Mark Burnett proposed to Roma during a trip to Mexico [December 2, 2006].
Married Mark Burnett on April 28, 2007 at their home in Malibu. The ceremony was officiated by Della Reese.
The Sunday Times List estimated her net worth with husband Mark Burnett at $385 million.
Best known by the public for her starring role as Monica on Touched by an Angel (1994).
Acting protégée of Della Reese.

Personal Quotes (8)

One of the reasons I haven't been going off on location is because I am the queen of the carpool!
[When asked about how she felt about turning 40.. She said]: "For me, it's a milestone age. I'm at a great place in my life. I have exceeded my own expectations in terms of what I wanted to accomplish by this time---I am a mother, a successful working actress, a producer, and an author."
[on starring in a TV movie with John Schneider]: I'm reunited with John Schneider - tall John! It was nice. It worked so out well. It was great to be back on set, although I think the second or third night, after crawling into bed from a very long day and a lot sitting around and waiting, I remember calling Mark very late at night and us laughing about it and going, 'Why did I want to do this again? Would you please remind me?
I have the soul of a singer and do splendidly in the shower, but the world will never hear it. Basically, I'm the only Irish person who can't carry a tune.
[on the charitable organization that she participated --- Operation Smile]: I've been on multiple international missions with them, and in fact Mark and I last spring took our three children to Jordan, and it was a fantastic experience for all of us. We went knowing we would help change the lives of children, but when we came home, really, it was our lives that had been changed!
[on her on- and off-screen relationship with gospel singer, actress and evangelist Della Reese, who played Tess]: She has adopted me, and is my mother to this day. My mom died when I was a girl, and her daughter passed away toward the end of the run. She said she always knew God brought her into my life because I needed a mother. What she hadn't realized was that God brought me into her life because she was going to need a daughter. She asked me if I would be her daughter and I said I would, and she said, 'Then I am your mother.' I live here in Malibu and she's in Beverly Hills and we get together every few weeks. She comes to grandparents' days at the kids' school and it's a beautiful relationship, another legacy of love. I'm so grateful to the show for that. It gave me a beautiful mother in my life. My mom died when I was 10, and I was so impacted by that, as you can imagine. Often I would find myself in the company of older women fantasizing and longing, dreaming for that maternal nurturing. When Della and I met that first day on the set, it was like we'd known each other forever, yet we couldn't have been more different. I was raised a young white child in Northern Island, and here she was this sort of larger than life black woman from Detroit. Yet our souls connected and really, the joy we brought to each other has really been beautiful. When I see reruns of the series and that relationship, I realize there were many ingredients that were part of the show's success. And yet that relationship reflected on-screen what we felt off-screen, and was a great part of the chemistry.
[When she wanted to know if Della Reese, who played Tess, would also be a surrogate mother to her on Touched by an Angel (1994), long before Della becomes a godmother to Reilly in real-life]: When we met, it was like Della had been given to me as a mother. What you see on the screen is echoed off the screen. It's a very loving relationship. It was instant. The moment we met there was something - a recognition of souls, like we had known each other. She has given me great counsel. There is no safer place in the world than in the arms of Della. Reilly adores her. Of course she spoils her rotten. Last Christmas she gave her a violin and lessons. I told you she spoils Reilly.
[Of Della Reese]: One of the most loving and remarkable gifts it gave to me is my relationship with Della Reese [Tess] which, even though we've been off the air for a few years, continues with great love and friendship. She's the mother I lost when I was 10 and I'm the daughter she lost while we were filming. We have adopted each other. She is just a remarkable woman and she brings so much joy not just my life but to the length of my entire family.

Salary (1)

Touched by an Angel (1994) $100,000 per episode

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