Date Of Birth

December 10, 1941


Emmy Award-winning actress Fionnula Flanagan was born on December 10, 1941 in Dublin, Ireland. Fluent in both Irish and English, she studied both in England and Switzerland, and eventually trained with the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. She rose to prominence in her home country after her performance in the television play An Triail, for which she won a Jacob’s Award in 1965. She further gained recognition for her performance in the film Ulysses, which premiered in 1967.

Flanagan then moved to the United States, and further established her name on Broadway. After making her debut in a production of Lovers in 1968, she appeared in several adaptations of James Joyce’s works—Ulysses in Nighttown, where she earned a Tony nomination, and the one-woman show James Joyce’s Women, which eventually earned her Critic’s Circle Awards in both Los Angeles and San Francisco, and was turned into a film in 1988. She also established her name in television, appearing in several television movies, and eventually winning an Emmy for her role in the 1976 miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man.

Flanagan soon also appeared in several weekly programs, most notably How The West Was Won in 1977, which earned her another Emmy nomination. She appeared in three Star Trek programs as a guest: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise. She had roles in acclaimed miniseries such as the Emmy-nominated Revelations. Most recently, she took a major role in the drama series Brotherhood, playing Rose Caffee, the highly manipulative mother of the Caffee brothers (Jason Isaacs and Jason Clarke). Additionally, she played Eloise Hawking, the caretaker of the L.A.-based Dharma station on the ABC series Lost.

Flanagan also has an established film career, although it’s only more recently when she was her work became well-known. Her films include A State of Emergency, Mad at the Moon, Waking Ned, With or Without You, The Others, Transamerica, Four Brothers and Slipstream.

Place of Birth

Dublin, Ireland

Birth Name

Fionnghuala Manon Flanagan



Fun Facts

She took up languages in Switzerland at the Universite de Fribourg and worked as an interpreter and translator in Italy.


In 1999 Fionnula was nominated for a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture for Waking Ned Devine.


Ulysses (1967) – Gerty MacDowell
Sinful Davey (1969) – Penelope
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1973) – Felicia
The Legend of Lizzie Borden (1975) – Bridget Sullivan
In the Region of Ice (1976) – The Sister
Mary White (1977) – Sallie White
Mr. Patman (1980) – Abadaba
Through Naked Eyes (1983) – Dr. Frances Muller
Reflections (1984) – Mrs. Charlotte Lawless
Scorned and Swindled (1984) – Margaret
The Ewok Adventure (1984) – Catarine Towani
James Joyce’s Women (1985) – Harriet Shaw Weaver
Youngblood (1986) – Miss McGill
A Winner Never Quits (1986) – Mrs. Wyshner
A State of Emergency (1986) – Diane Carmody
P.K. and the Kid (1987) – Flo
Death Dreams (1991) – Psychic Physician
Final Verdict (1991) – Pearl Morton
Mad at the Moon (1992) – Mrs. Hill
Money for Nothing (1993) – Mrs. Coyle
White Mile (1994) – Gena Karas
Some Mother’s Son (1996) – Annie Higgins
Waking Ned (1998) – Annie O’Shea
With or Without You (1999) – Irene
A Secret Affair (1999) – Drucilla Fitzgerald
Deceit (1999) – uncredited
For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story (2000) – Sally
The Others (2001) – Mrs. Bertha Mills
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) – Aimee Malissa “Teensy” Whitman
Tears of the Sun (2003) – Sister Grace
Blessed (2004) – J. Lloyd Samuel
Man About Dog (2004) – Olivia
Transamerica (2005) – Elizabeth Schupak
Sexual Life (2005) – Grandmother
Four Brothers (2005) – Evelyn Mercer
Slipstream (2007) – Bette Lustig
Yes Man (2008) – Tillie
The Invention of Lying (2009) – Martha
A Christmas Carol (2009) – Mrs. Dilber
Coming & Going (2010) – Irma
The Irishman (2010) – TBA
The Guard (2010) – Eileen Boyle
Coming and Going (2010) – unknown role




5′ 2″ (1.57 m)