Gleeson steals the show as Irish net Emmy hat-trick

THE Irish scored a hat-trick at the Emmy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles where one of the triumphant three, Brendan Gleeson, stole the show.

Taking the Emmy for what was described as an “outstanding performance” in a mini-series called Into The Storm, in which he plays the part of Winston Churchill, the 54-year-old Dublin actor, in an emotional acceptance speech which hardly left a dry eye in the house, thanked producer Frank Doelger for letting his mother see the first cut of the film before she died.

“It meant a huge amount to me, and I would like to thank him very much for that,” he said.

Gleeson, star of The General and In Bruges, beat renowned actors such as Ian McKellen, Kenneth Branagh and Keifer Sutherland for the award.

Meanwhile, a proud Irish mum and dad were toasting their son’s long-awaited Emmy success last night.

Denis and Dawn Healy, who live in Kinsale, Co Cork, said they are extremely proud after their son, Kieran, won an Emmy for his lighting direction on the global hit TV show, American Idol. It was his 14th Emmy nomination.

“We’re over the moon. We’re just delighted that he has won, at long last,” Dawn said.

“He’s always busy. He works from 6am in the morning until whenever – he’s a real grafter,” Denis said.

Speaking from his home in Los Angeles last night, Kieran said he was working in Las Vegas when the announcement was made but will collect his statuette on Thursday. He said he was shell-shocked and emotional to finally win an Emmy after 25 years.

“Not in my wildest dreams when I started out did I think I’d win an Emmy. I have mixed feelings after waiting that long, but it’s obviously an honour,” he said.

He celebrated with a quiet family dinner with his wife, Debra Liebling Healy and their two children.

London-born Kieran, 52, has been working in show business for almost 30 years.

At the age of 12, he spent several months with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He then joined The Who as a roadie, working mostly on sound.

“But I kept blowing amps so they moved me to lights,” he joked.

He was the band’s lighting production designer from 1976 to 1980.

Over the years, he has worked with Michael Jackson, John Denver, Jackson Browne, The Bangles and The Rolling Stones on dozens of TV specials, and on some of American TV’s biggest shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent, The Swan and Whose Line Is It Anyway.

He won the Emmy for the lighting on the final show of the eighth series of American Idol which aired earlier this year.

Lighting the contestants isn’t easy, he said.

“You didn’t want to make one contestant look more spectacular than another, because it is a competition.”


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