Saturday, April 20, 2024

RIP Malachy McCourt, Beloved Actor from “Ryan’s Hope,” Brother Frank Wrote “Angela’s Ashes”


I’m so sorry to hear of the death of Malachy McCourt at age 92.

The beloved actor was a star of ABC’s “Ryan’s Hope” in almost 300 episodes. He also appeared in every New York soap opera, from “Guiding Light” to “Search for Tomorrow” and “All My Children.”

Malachy, like his brother Frank — who wrote “Angela’s Ashes” — was a wordsmith. He published two memoirs and a volume of poetry. He had a lovely, lilting, lyrical Irish accent and a big burly persona that would have been suited for the Brendan Gleeson character in “The Banshees of Inisherin.” He was part of two Broadway casts as a stand-by, in “Mass Appeal” and “Translations.”

McCourt’s bar — called Malachy’s, on the Upper West Side — was probably an inspiration for Ryan’s bar in the soap opera. The actor played the bar tender Kevin MacGuiness, a sounding board of reason for the various colorful characters. He was the opposite of a soap character — totally genuine, authentic, and real. An era ends with his passing and the memory of his brother, Frank. They will be sorely missed.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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