ITA/131 Jimmy O’Dea (1899-1965)

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Jimmy O'Dea (1899-1965) Jimmy O’Dea is remembered as Ireland’s most famous comedian, and this collection chronicles his career, from early success through to his long run as top billing at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. In the 1920s O’Dea took part in amateur theatre productions and acted in several early Irish films produced by John MacDonagh. He then met entertainer and writer Harry O’Donovan and together they formed O’D Productions. In the late 1930s O’D Productions was brought into the Gaiety Theatre by its manager, Louis Elliman and played there until O’Dea died in January 1965. From 1940-1965, O’Dea also continued to tour, most notably to Australia and New Zealand in 1961, and act in films, including Walt Disney’s Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959). The collection includes programmes, playbills, posters, correspondence, production and financial files, memorabilia, press-cuttings, photographs and recordings. It also relates to the career of his wife Ursula Doyle, and other well-known performers such as Maureen Potter, Vernon Hayden, Harry O’Donovan, Micheál Mac Liammóir, Milo O’Shea, Danny Cummins, Noel Purcell, and Fred O’Donovan.

Photo: Jimmy O'Dea (1889 - 1965)

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