Monday 18 February 2019

With several homes in the exclusive Malibu beachside suburb of Los Angeles - one of which came close to being damaged by wildfires last November - and where the neighbours include Navan man Pierce Brosnan, Derry native Roma Downey (58) is one of the wealthiest women in the Rich List.

The Emmy-nominated actress and her husband, former British soldier Mark Burnett (also 58), have made their money from TV formats and productions.

They include a faith and family-oriented content network Lightworkers Media, which is a joint venture with MGM Studios and the Netflix production Messiah. Previously they adapted The Bible for TV, while Burnett was the brains behind the formats for hits such as The Apprentice, Dragons' Den, Survivor, The Voice and Shark Tank.

Hearst and MGM bought Burnett's company in several chunks in 2012, 2014 and 2015, initially valuing the firm at €480m, but later more than that. The couple may have banked €120m from the 2015 transaction alone, with fees and dividends of almost €200m adding to that bank balance over the years.

Downey has a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame and starred in Christmas movie Buttons with Paul McCartney and Dick Van Dyke. She and Burnett are both devoted Christians, support a range of charitable causes, and are also patrons of Dublin's Abbey Theatre.

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