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Cyril Cusack Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (13)

Overview (3)

Born in Durban, Natal, South Africa
Died in London, England, UK  (motor neuron disease)
Birth NameCyril James Cusack

Mini Bio (1)

Cyril James Cusack was born in Durban, Natal, South Africa, to Alice Violet (Cole), a Cockney English actress and chorus girl, and James Walter Cusack, an Irish mounted policeman in Natal. He was brought up in Ireland. He was a child star on the Irish stage, appearing first at the age of 7. He toured Ireland with his own theater company. Although he made some very telling film appearances, his small stature kept him from the classic roles.

With his wife, Irish-born actress Maureen Cusack (née Mary Margaret Kiely), he is the father of actress Sinéad Cusack and the grandfather of actor Max Irons.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Spouse (2)

Mary Rose Cunningham (1979 - 7 October 1993) (his death) (1 child)
Maureen Cusack (5 April 1945 - 18 December 1977) (her death) (5 children)

Trivia (13)

He was the father of Paul Cusack, Sinéad Cusack, Sorcha Cusack, Niamh Cusack, Pádraig Cusack and Catherine Cusack. He was the father-in-law of Jeremy Irons. He was the grandfather of Samuel Irons and Max Irons.
In common with Leslie French, he was offered the role of the First Doctor in the BBC television series Doctor Who (1963) but turned it down. William Hartnell was cast instead.
He tried to discourage all of his six children from pursuing the entertainment field, going so far as to not keeping a TV inside the house while they were young. Nevertheless, all of them went into some form of entertainment. Sons Paul and Padraig worked behind the scenes as director/producer types and daughters, Sinead, Sorcha, Niamh and Catherine all became actresses. In 1990 Cyril performed in an acclaimed stage production of Chekhov's "The Three Sisters" with daughters Sinead, Sorcha and Niamh at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, Ireland.
He was educated in Newbridge College, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, and University College, Dublin, but left without a degree to join the Abbey Theatre in 1932. He received honorary doctorates in 1977 and 1980 from the NUI and the University of Dublin, respectively.
His parents separated when he was young and his mother took him to England, and then to Ireland. Cusack's mother and her subsequent partner, Breifne O'Rorke, joined the O'Brien and Ireland Players where Cyril made his theater debut at age 6.
He formed his own company and staged productions in Dublin, Paris and New York beginning in 1947.
He became a campaigner for conservative causes in Ireland in his later years, notably in his opposition to abortion, where he became a frequent letter-writer into the main Liberal Irish newspaper, The Irish Times. His conservative credentials came under scrutiny, however, following his death and the revelation that he had not been faithful in his first marriage, with a long-term mistress, Mary Rose Cunningham, who bore him a daughter, Catherine. Cusack married Cunningham following his first wife's death.
His father, James Cusack, was a mounted policeman in Natal Province, South Africa.
Aged six, Cusack left South Africa for Ireland, accompanied by his mother Alice Cole. He was joined by actor Brefni O'Rourke to form a theatrical troupe. He appeared on stage for the first time a year later in pantomime and dramatic performance. He led an unsettled life on the road, with brief attendances at diverse schools throughout Ireland.
He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1963 and the Old Vic in 1964.
He is not the same actor as Cyril Chosack, with whom he bears no resemblance, despite the apparent similarity of their names.
He was one of the four actors Alec Guinness most admired.
Under his listing in Quinlan's Character Actors, published 2004, the film Lovespell (1981) was unreleased.

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