Monday 27 February 2017

Tom Hanks pays tribute to Irishman who gave him his first break

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Tom Hanks has become a Cast Away again, this time on Desert Island Discs
Tom Hanks has become a Cast Away again, this time on Desert Island Discs

Tom Hanks has paid tribute to the Irish actor who gave him his first acting break.

"The reason I'm here now is because of a fabulous Irishman by the name of Vincent Dowling from the great O'Herlihy clan," the actor told RTE Ten.

"He's the man who taught me, not only what it's like to be an actor and to pursue it, but he also taught me that work in the theatre is more fun.

"I'm very thankful that at a time when I was wondering what was going to come down the pipe, I ran into this Irishman with a briefcase who said to me, `you just might be able to be an actor if you want it... but you have to want it!".

Tom Hanks attending the premiere of A Hologram For The King at BFI Southbank, London
Tom Hanks attending the premiere of A Hologram For The King at BFI Southbank, London

The late Vincent Dowling was a Dublin actor who was Artistic and Producing Director of The Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in Ohio from 1976 to 1984.

Hanks' first professional role was as Grumio in the festival production of The Taming of the Shrew when he was just 20 years old.

Vincent Dowling died in 2013.  He was best known for playing Christy Kennedy in RTE radio soap The Kennedys of Castleross. He was also a member of the Abbey Theatre company.

Hanks was speaking ahead of the premiere for his new film A Hologram for The King, which arrives in cinemas on Friday May 20.

 

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