The youngest of eleven children, Brendan O'Carroll is Ireland's most popular comedian and successful playright.
Born in the North Dublin neighborhood of Stonybatter in 1955, Brendan O'Carroll worked as a waiter before trying his hand doing stand-up comedy.
From 1991 till present time, Brendan has played more than 1,500 live performances in Ireland, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. In 1994, he played to an audience of 8,500 on Broadway where he met Irish actor Gabriel Bryne, who invited him to Minsky's for lunch.
Gabriel told Brendan that 'Hollywood was now open to Irishness', and that he should write a screenplay. When Brendan asked him what a screenplay was, Gabriel sent Brendan some books by the screenwriter Syd Field, who recommended that before starting a screen play one should have a twenty-page back story on each of the characters.
In 1994, while doing work for RTE during the World Cup, Brendan began his back story for Agnes Browne. "Twenty pages grew to forty, then fifty, then I had The Mammy. The publishers snapped it up, but they were surprised when it took off and became a best seller."
Not surprising, as The Mammy is about a recently widowed woman left with six boys and a girl to raise on her own and the comic misadventures along the way. Yet despite all the challenges of making ends meet by selling fruits and vegetables with her best friend Marion, Agnes Browne as 'the Mammy' still finds time to pursue her most cherished dream.
He followed The Mammy with The Chiselers, then The Granny, before writing Sparrow's Trap, which is about growing up in the rough parts of Dublin. Since then, Brendan has done five plays, four novels, three screenplays and numerous stand-up shows.
Besides being a popular writer and comedian, Brendan has also tried his hand in acting. He can be seen in the film adaptation of Frank McCourt's Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir, Angela's Ashes.
His own novels are being adapted on-screen, beginning with Agnes Browne, which stars Angelica Huston, who also directs it. Produced by Jim Sheridan, Agnes Browne also features Tom Jones, whose songs are featured in the soundtrack album, Agnes Browne.
Sparrow's Trap began production last month and stars Brendan and Stephen Ray. His play, Grandad's Sure Lilly's Alive also goes into production this year. The Bingo Hall Gang, his latest work, is due to go before the cameras with ex-Charlie's Angel Jaclyn Smith directing.
As if Brendan has enough time for anything else, he is also very active raising funds for cancer research, as well as lending a hand with Amnesty International. But for Brendan, all this only keeps him busy.
"My Ma made me believe I could fly. 'Just take off any time you want, Brendan - you can fly, man. All you've got to do is flap your arms.' And I think I equated, as a kid, flying with Superman, and I think what it is is wanting to save the day all the time. Wanting to be Superman and save the day. And that's why, if I go into a play or if I'm doing a new show or a movie, there has to be an element of risk involved to make it attractive for me," He told Paul Bryne in April of last year.
But whether it's flying high with projects like Sparrow's Trap or sitting still writing his next play or novel, rest assured Brendan will be having a lot of fun doing what he does best, and that's making us laugh.
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