Donal Donnelly Dies

Donal Donnelly in "The Elephant Man." (Photo by Zoe Dominic)

Donal Donnelly — the Irish theatre and film actor, and a longtime Westport resident — died yesterday.  He was 78.

Donnelly was perhaps best known for his portrayal of “Freddy” Malins in John Huston’s film version of James Joyce’s short story “The Dead.”  He was nominated for a Tony in 1966, as Best Actor (Dramatic) in “Philadelphia, Here I Come!”

Services have not yet been announced.

For details on his career, click here.

3 responses to “Donal Donnelly Dies

  1. Trivia notes on my good friend Donal–
    Actors do not work every day. That is why you see so many actors as waiters. Donal used his time off to work with Recorded Books. His highlight there was his recording of the James Joyce classic “Ulysses”. Thirty five tapes and Donal did it all–except for the last sentence which is 40 pages in length!!
    Perhaps his proudest day was to become a citizen of the United States.
    The thing I enjoyed most of his stage work was
    his one man rendition of George Bernard Shaw. He even performed in that role in Westport Town Hall as a fundraiser for Project Return.
    I shall miss his acerbic wit. My thoughts are with his wife Patsy and his sons Jonathon and Damien.

  2. Just one more Donal story. Do you know where the world premiere of “The Dead” took place?
    Right here in Norwalk at the old Sono Cinema. That, too, was a fundraiser for Project Return and all 325 seats were taken. We did it like Hollywood and there was a limo to take Donal and Patsy from the theater to the cast party on Washington Avenue. Sure, the trip was only two
    blocks, but it was a nice touch for a fun evening!

  3. Melissa Birch Glerum

    He had a daughter, too. Mary Ann Donnelly was in my class at Staples, 1983, and a talented artist. I believe she died in a horseback-riding accident.