Thursday 17 October 2019

Flashback: 10 of the best celebrity visits to Ireland throughout the years

Grace Kelly arrives at Dublin Airport accompanied by Lord Killanin, Honorary Consul of Monaco, for a four-day trip to Ireland.
Grace Kelly arrives at Dublin Airport accompanied by Lord Killanin, Honorary Consul of Monaco, for a four-day trip to Ireland. Newsdesk Newsdesk

From Old Hollywood starlets to modern-day legends, Ireland has had its fair share of famous faces visit these shores.

Throughout the 1960s iconic entertainment Charlie Chaplin brought his family to holiday in Waterville in County Kerry. The holiday spot was recommended to Chaplin by his friend Walt Disney and the family visited until 1971. Waterville erected a statue in Chaplin's honour and in 2011 the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival was launched in the town to remember one of its most famous visitors.

Charlie Chaplin with his wife Oona, arriving at Dublin airport in 1960

One of our most famous red heads, actress Maureen O’Hara got her start treading the boards at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, before going on to become one of the most enduring stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. In 1988 she was back on home soil to accept her Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway- making her Doctor O’Hara.

Maureen O'Hara in 1988

Hollywood funny man Bill Murray was the headline act at the Murphy's Cat Laughs Comedy Festival (now the Kilkenny Cat Laughs Comedy Festival) in 1996.

Bill Murray in 1996

In 1993, a fresh faced young actress named Catherine Zeta Jones was in Dublin to promote her film 'Splitting Heirs', in which she starred alongside with Eric Idle.

Catherine Zeta Jones

Rock legend Meatloaf (real name Michael Lee Aday) was in Dublin in August 1993, and stalled outside Eddie Rockets to meet fans.

Fans meet singer Meat Loaf in Dublin

Audrey Hepburn’s first visit to Ireland was in 1964 with her husband Mel Ferrer. She told reporters who greeted her at Dublin Airport that she was spending time with friends, but it is possible she was also in the country hoping to seek out her estranged father, whom she hadn’t had contact with for years. Anthony Hepburn-Ruston lived in Dublin for 35 years and is buried in St Jerome's cemetery in Harolds Cross.

Audrey Hepburn at Dublin Airport

In May 1989 legendary crooner Frank Sinatra, with Liza Minelli and Sammy Davis Junior as support, played to 18, 000 adoring fans in Lansdowne Road stadium in Dublin. Despite the persistent rain the crowd sang along to every song as the glamorous trio played for two hours in what the Irish Independent described as ‘a dazzling performance’.

Frank Sinatra, Liza Minelli and Sammy Davis Junior

Paris Hilton is often thought to be the first person to be famous for being famous, but she may have learnt a thing or two from her great grandfather’s former wife, socialite and actress Zsa Zsa Gabor. They both had run ins with the law that only served to increase their celebrity (Zsa Zsa enjoyed a career boost after her arrest for slapping a police officer while being pulled over for a driving offence) as well as love lives that made headlines- Zsa Zsa had nine husbands in total. She visited Dublin in 1961, pictured below.

Zsa Zsa Gabor

In 1988 a little-known singer named Celine Dion took home the top prize at Eurovision, representing Switzerland. Just two years later she released the English-language album Unison that launched her towards international superstardom.

Celine Dion pictured at the Shelbourne Hotel, 1988

To see more photos like this, visit Independent Archives and explore our galleries

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