Legend of the Irish stage Vincent Dowling (83) dies
VINCENT Dowling, the award winning theatre director and, at one time, one of Ireland’s best known actors, has died at his home in Massachusetts. He was 83.
Mr Dowling was mentor and advisor to some of the biggest names in Irish theatreand was credited with discovering Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks.
Born in 1929, the sixth of seven children, he first came to prominence in the 1950s playing Christy Kennedy, in the iconic and long running radio soap, the Kennedy’s of Castleross.
He was a member of the Abbey Theatre and then became the Director of the national theatre.
But America called and he served as Artistic and Producing Director of The Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival in the 70s and 80s before returning to the Abbey briefly, and unhappily, as its artistic director before returning to the US.
As a director his productions of the Playboy of the Western World throughout his career won international acclaim and his production of the play for America’s PBS television won an "Emmy".
Mr Dowling also founded the Chester Theatre Company in 1990. He is survived by his wife Olwen Patricia O'Herlihy Dowling, children and grandchildren.
The Director of the Abbey Theatre, Fiach MacConghail, said Vincent Dowling was an “actor's director.”
He added that he would be fondly remembered by many of the greats of Irish acting who worked with him.