Michael Twomey – Actor Director – A Tribute

Michael Twomey was born in Cork in 1933. He made his first stage appearance in the old Cork Opera House in 1944 at the age 11, in Eugene O’Neill’s Ah, Wilderness! Pantomime and revues in Cork followed and his versatility as an actor, director and raconteur ensured steady work in all media for 70 years. At the age of 82, he played the lead role in a production of The Outgoing Tide at his beloved Everyman Theatre, Cork. Last year, he participated in a 1916 commemoration show that toured Co Cork, despite ill health.

In 1956 he had a small part in John Huston’s film Moby Dick. Other film and television parts followed in, The Clash of the Ash, Broken Harvest, Green Fingers, Da Quixote and Malice Aforethought. He also played in the early productions of many of John B. Keane’s plays, and was a constant presence in Munster theatre.

In 2013, he was rightly conferred with the Freedom of Cork for unwavering lifetime contributions to professional and amateur theatre and arts. However, Michael will be best remembered for his role as Miah to actor Frank Duggan’s Cha in the 1970s RTÉ satirical series ‘Hall’s Pictorial Weekly’.

His life was a monumental theatrical achievement, presiding over the Drama Adjudicator’s Association for many years and, he was an early member of Irish Actors Equity and a staunch supporter of the Southern Region Branch, which existed then. His off-stage persona could not have been more contrasting to his Cork Characters. Dapper, debonair and richly spoken, he was a true ‘old school’ Thespian, in the best sense of those words.

His talent, and that of discovering and nurturing newcomers will be greatly missed by all who knew and respected him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Marie and family, Laura, Des and Sharon, and more recently, his grandchildren, Michael, Sophie, Alex, Julie, Rebecca and Sarah, of whom he was so proud.

Laurence Foster
August 21st 2017