A talented Irish actor on stage and in films for Ford and Huston
For an actor who worked with two of the greatest movie directors of the last century and appeared in the world premieres of plays by Brian Friel
, Ireland's leading contemporary dramatist, Donal Donnelly
, who has died after a long illness, aged 78, was curiously unrecognised. Like so many prominent Irish actors in the diasporas of Hollywood, British television, the West End and Broadway – all areas he conquered – Donnelly was a great talent and a private citizen, happily married for many years, and always seemed youthful.
There was something mischievous, something larkish, about him, too. He twinkled. And he had a big nose. He had long lived in New York, although he died in Chicago, and had started out in Dublin, although born in England.
In John Huston
's swansong movie The Dead
(1987), the best screen transcription of a James Joyce