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Milo O'Shea, Irish actor of stage and screen, dies at 86

April 03, 2013|By Rebecca Trounson
  • Milo O'Shea, left, and Janeane Garofalo in "The Matchmaker."
Milo O'Shea, left, and Janeane Garofalo in "The Matchmaker." (Gramercy Pictures )

Milo O’Shea, an Irish stage and screen actor known for his roles in films as varied as “Ulysses,” “Barbarella” and Franco Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet,” has died. He was 86.

O’Shea, who also had guest roles on many popular television series, including “Cheers,” “Frasier” and “The West Wing,” died Tuesday in New York City, according to Irish news reports.

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Familiar as both a starring and character actor, with bristling eyebrows and an impish smile, O’Shea appeared in numerous stage productions before he came to wider attention with his first starring screen role, when he played protagonist Leopold Bloom in the 1967 film adaptation of James Joyce’s “Ulysses.”

O’Shea’s many other memorable roles included playing mad scientist Dr. Durand Durand in the 1968 cult classic “Barbarella” with Jane Fonda, the well-intentioned Friar Laurence in Zeffirelli’s adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet,” also in 1968, and as the trial judge in the 1982 film “The Verdict,” starring Paul Newman.

He made his Broadway debut in the 1968 play “Staircase,” said to be the first serious depiction of homosexual men.

A complete obituary will follow at


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