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Derry City, County Derry, Northern Ireland
Claim to Fame
Touched by an Angel
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Roma Downey (born 6 May 1960) is an Emmy-nominated actress and producer best known for her nine seasons as the tender-hearted angel on the hit CBS television show Touched by an Angel, for which she earned multiple Emmy and Golden Globe Best Actress nominations. Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, and classically trained in London, Downey has performed on stage with the famed Abbey Theatre and has appeared both on and off Broadway. She played the leading role of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis in the Emmy award winning miniseries for NBC, A Woman Named Jackie. Downey starred in and was also executive producer for seven television movies for the CBS network. Downey is an ambassador for Operation Smile.
Profile Bio Text
Roma Downey (born May 6, 1960) is an actress, singer, and producer, from [Derry, Northern Ireland. She is best known as Tess's (played by Della Reese) angel/employee, Monica, the main character of the TV series Touched by an Angel. She is also the wife of television producer, Mark Burnett.
Life and career
Roma was born and raised to a Irish-Catholic family in Derry. She attended grammar school at Thornhill College. Originally, Downey thought she would be a painter and earned a BA at Brighton College of Art, England. But she turned her attention to acting and had a classical training attending Drama Studio London, where she performed in the plays of Shakespeare, Shaw, and Chekhov. Roma then joined the Abbey Players in Dublin, and toured the United States in a production of The Playboy of the Western World. The production led to a nomination during the Broadway run for the Helen Hayes Best Actress Award in 1991. Roma also starred on Broadway in The Circle with Sir Rex Harrison and also at the Roundabout theater and the Public Theater in NYC. With her growing popularity, Downey gained the role of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy-Onassis in the 1991 U.S. TV 6-hour mini series A Woman Named Jackie which went on to win the Emmy award that year.
In 1999 Roma signed with RCA Victor Records and recorded a CD called Healing Angel, released on September 14, 1999.
Stage success and Touched by an Angel (1994-2003)
Eventually, the initial success on the Broadway stage led to Roma auditioning for and securing her most famous role, as the angel "Monica" on the CBS-TV hit show Touched by an Angel, which ran from 1994 to 2003, and in which she starred opposite Della Reese.
For her work on Touched by an Angel, Roma has been nominated for several Emmys and Golden Globe awards. She was also awarded the TV Guide award for favorite actress. She has produced and starred in many TV movies including Borrowed Hearts and Second Honeymoon. She has recorded a spoken word album called "Healing Angel" and written a children's book called Love Is A Family. She hosted "It's a Miracle" on the Pax Network and most recently starred again on stage in A Picasso at the Geffen Theatre in LA.
Roma has hosted Saturday Night Live, was one of People magazine's most beautiful people and is a spokesperson for the volunteer group "Operation Smile". For her nine seasons on-air, she developed a chemistry with Reese. In the aftermath of the show, she and Reese remain friends. She recently starred along side John Schneider in the movie "Come Dance at My Wedding".
Roma Downey Honors and Recent works
On April 18, 2009, Downey and her husband Mark Burnett, delivered the keynote address and accepted an honorary doctorate of law at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management commencement ceremony. She is a recent graduate from The University of Santa Monica with a Masters in Spiritual Psychology.
On May 24, 2011, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett announced they are producing a 10-Hour Docudrama for the History Channel Network based on stories from the Bible scheduled to air sometime 2013. The Bible series is being produced for the HISTORY CHANNEL by Lightworkers Media and Hearst Entertainment & Syndication. Executive Producers are Mark Burnett, Roma, and Richard Bedser. Roma will next appear with actress Marion Ross in the made for TV Movie "Keeping up with the Randalls", scheduled to premiere on the Hallmark Channel July 16 2011, 8PM Central.
Roma Downey Personal life
Downey has been married three times. Her first marriage was fellow actor Leland Orser, with whom she eloped in 1987 to Rome, Italy. They divorced in 1989. In 1995, she married American director, David Anspaugh, who had directed a number of Touched By An Angel episodes at the time. Downey's TBAA co-star, Della Reese, officiated at the wedding. During her marriage to Anspaugh, she gave birth to her daughter, Reilly Marie Anspaugh (b. 1996). Della Reese was given the honor of being her godmother. In 1998, she and Anspaugh ended their three-year marriage. She is currently married to television producer/entrepreneur Mark Burnett.
On Thanksgiving Day 2006, Burnett proposed to Downey during a family vacation in Zihuatanejo Mexico. They wed on April 28, 2007, in their Malibu home. Her Touched By An Angel co-star, Della Reese, officiated at the wedding. Roma is a "Smile Ambassador" for the non-profit organization named Operation Smile which provides surgeries for children around the world who were born with severe cleft lips and palates.
Brighton College of Art
Maureen O'Reilly Downey
Reilly Marie (daughter)
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University of Santa Monic (M.A. in Spiritual Psychology)
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Music Profile Complete
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Drama Studio London
Talent Agency (e.g. Modelling)
William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
twitter.com/RealRomaDowney, www.facebook.com/Roma.Downey, www.irishcentral.com/opinion/roma-downey-my-return-to-the-acting-life-43738442-237639691.html, www.nndb.com/people/262/000063073/
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