10 Best Irish-American Actors

Sunday, March 13 by Amin El-Gazzar

Discover the  top ten Irish American actors who have graced our screens. Hollywood is full of talented Irish-American actors and they have Oscars to attest to this talent.

  1. Gregory Peck (1916 – 2003) Peck was born in California, but his father’s mother was from County Kerry, Ireland. In fact, Peck is related to the Irish patriot who died for his country in a hunger strike in 1917. Peck starred in 57 movies and was nominated for 4 Academy awards. He won Best Actor in 1962 for "To Kill a Mockingbird."
  2. Grace Kelly (1929 – 1982) Kelly was born in Philadelphia. Her father’s parents were both from Ireland. She rose from immigrant’s granddaughter, to film icon and finally princess of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier in 1956. She won an Oscar in 1954 for her role in "The Country Girl."
  3. Jimmy Cagney (1899 – 1986) Cagney’s name is synonymous in Hollywood with "tough guy gangster." Cagney was born in New York, both his parents were of Irish descent. With his red hair and blue eyes he certainly looked Irish. He won an academy award as Best Actor for "Yankee Doodle Dandy."
  4. Angelica Houston (1951 – ) Houston was born in California and grew up in Galway, Ireland. Houston won best Actress for "Prizzi’s Honor."
  5. Spencer Tracy (1900 – 1967) Spencer was born in Wisconsin to an Irish father. He starred in more than 70 films and won an Oscar for his role as an Irish American priest in "Boys Town" (1938). He also won another Academy Award.
  6. Maureen Stapleton (1925 – 2006) Born in New York, Stapleton’s father was Irish born. She has the honor of being one of the elite few to receive the triple crown – having earned an Oscar, and Emmy and a Tony.
  7. Kevin Kline (1947 – ) Kline was born in Missouri. His maternal grandparents were from County Louth, Ireland. He received an Oscar in 1988 for Best Supporting Actor in "A Fish Called Wanda."
  8. Jennifer Connelly (1970 – ) Connelly was born in New York, the daughter of an Irish America. She also has Polish, Russian and Norwegian descent. She received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in "A Beautiful Mind."
  9. Sean Penn (1960 – ) Penn was born in Santa Monica, California. His mother was of Irish and Italian descent. Penn is a powerhouse in Hollywood and is not only an actor, but also a director, producer and writer. He has appeared in nearly 50 films and won an Academy Award for Best Actor in "Mystic River."
  10. Thomas Mitchell (1892 – 1962) Mitchell is one of the greatest actors from the Classic Hollywood era. He was born in New Jersey. His parents emigrated from Ireland. Mitchell appeared in more than 100 films, of which he is most remembered for his role as Scarlet O’Hara’s father in "Gone With The Wind." He won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor in "Stagecoach" in 1939.