1888-1961 [stage-name of William Joseph Shields]; b. Dublin, br. of Boss
Shields; ed. Merchant Taylors School; joined Civil Service in 1911;
first acted with Kincora Players; acted part-time in the Abbey, 1918-29
and afterwards as part of Abbey Company; created parts of Captain Boyle
in Juno and the Paycock; played Fluther in Plough and the Stars, Paul in Paul Twining, St. Leger in The Big House, &c.;
played Englishman in Denis Johnstons film of Guests of the Nation (1934); voted best character actor (as Fluther) by George Jean Nathan and
other critics in NY, 1934; settled in USA 1936, and remained in Hollywood
for 20 years; played Fr. Fitzgibbon in Going My Way; also appeared in The Quiet Man,
dir. John Ford; spent his summers in Dublin, sailing; returned to Ireland,
1959; d. 4 Jan. BREF DIB
[ top ]
Brian Cleeve & Anne Brady, A Dictionary of Irish Writers
(Dublin: Lilliput 1985), gives bio-data as supra; with var., played Abbey
as amateur 1916[sic]-1929, and fulltime thereafter.
See also Ruth Barton, Acting Irish in Hollywood: From Fitzgerald to Farrell (Blackrock: IAP 2006)..
Portrait in Brian de Breffny, Ireland: A Cultural Encyclopaedia
(London: Thames & Hudson) Plate VII, Fitzgerald as the King in Lady
Gregorys The Golden Apple, oil on canvas, Dermod OBrien.
[Orig. in Abbey Foyer], signed 1922. Also Seán OSullivan,
drawing in black carbon pencil with white chalk on grey paper, signed
1946 [NGI]. Also Fitzgerald as Christie Dudgeon in The Devils
Disciple [Abbey Theatre].