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Roma Downey

Born: 06 May 1960 (61 years old)
Gender: Female

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Bio

Roma Downey is a Northern Irish-born actress and producer, best known for her role as Monica on the television series Touched by an Angel.

Born and raised in Derry City, Northern Ireland, at the encouragement of her father, Downey pursued her love for painting and attended Brighton Art College where she earned a Bachelor's Degree.

Inspired by a quote from the great painter Vincent Van Gogh, "It is no longer enough to be the painter, I want to be the paint", she decided to enroll in the London Drama Studio.

While there she starred in many of the classics - Shakespeare, Shaw and Chekhov - and won the Most Promising Student of the Year award upon graduation.

As a member of Dublin's famous Abbey Players, Downey toured the U.S. in a production of The Playboy of the Western World, receiving a nomination for the Helen Hayes Best Actress Award in 1991.

She also appeared Off-Broadway in such productions as Love's Labour's Lost, Tamara and Arms and The Man. When one of her performances was seen by legendary actor Rex Harrison, he cast her opposite him in the acclaimed Broadway production of The Circle.

Following her work on the stage, Downey beat out 400 other actresses to star as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in the top-rated; Emmy-winning network mini-series A Woman Named Jackie.

After landing the role, Downey had only three weeks to lose her accent through diligent work with a dialect coach while she read voraciously to educate herself on one of the world's most famous American women.

Downey both starred in and served as Executive Producer on the CBS telepics Second Honeymoon, The Test Of Love, Monday After The Miracle, about the legendary later years of humanitarian Helen Keller and her teacher; Annie Sullivan and Borrowed Hearts.

Her additional television credits include the CBS telepic A Child Is Missing, and the Lifetime Original Movie Getting Up And Going Home.

Her feature credits include The Last Word and Devlin.

Roma also released her debut recording effort entitled Healing Angel, a spoken word and Celtic music celebration.

Downey released her debut children's book Love Is A Family published by ReganBooks. She spent the 2002 summer hiatus in the south of France filming a feature film for Warner Bros. called Hairy Tale, co-starring Matthew Modine.

Downey lives in Malibu with her daughter, Reilly Marie. She married reality TV producer Mark Burnett on Saturday 28 April, 2007.



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