William Francis Breffni O'Rorke
26 June 1889
|Died||11 November 1946 57) (aged|
|Other names||Brefni O'Rourke|
Brefni O'Rorke (26 June 1889 – 11 November 1946) was an Irish actor, both on the stage and in movies.
O'Rorke was born as William Francis Breffni O'Rorke at 2 Esplande Villas in Dollymount, Clontarf, Dublin on 26 June 1889,and baptised at Clontarf Parish Church on 1 August 1889. His father, Frederick O'Rorke, was a cork merchant, and his mother, Jane Caroline O'Rorke, née Morgan, was an actress. He had an older brother, Frederick, who was twelve years older than him.
O'Rorke began studying acting with his mother and made his professional début in 1912 at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin in a production of Shaw's John Bull's Other Island . While still living in Dublin, he met and married in 1916 Alice Cole, a chorus-girl turned actress, who had divorced her first husband and immigrated from South Africa with her young son. Thus O'Rorke became the stepfather of Cyril Cusack.Other theatre roles included the title role in Finn Varra Maa (1917), a musical "pantomime" (or rather, light opera) written by Thomas Henry Nally with music by Geoffrey Molyneux Palmer.
In 1939 he appeared in several broadcasts in the new fledgling BBC television broadcast, including a play by Irish playwright Teresa Deevy called The King of Spain's Daughter,and produced by Denis Johnston.
National Television started in October 1936, initially broadcast just two hours a day. The station stopped broadcasting at the start of the War, and didn't restart until 1946.
"Plays" (like everything else) could last just one hour maximum, but some were only 25 minutes long. Also, there was no recording possible, so any repeat was really a new broadcast (as in The Advantages of Paternity).
|The King of Spain's Daughter||(25 Feb 1939)|
|Annie Kinsella||Phyllis Ryan|
|Peter Kinsella||Brefni O'Rorke|
|Mrs Marks||Ann Clery|
|Jim Harris||Patrick Boxill|
|Roddy Mann||Tony Quinn|
|The Advantages of Paternity||(12 May 1939)|
|A comedy by Horton Giddy.|
|General Yagunin||Brefni O'Rorke|
|Colonel Ilyitch||Frank Thornton-Bassett|
|Good Morning, Bill!||(4 Jun 1939)|
|A comedy by P. G. Wodehouse.|
|Author||P. G. Wodehouse|
|Lord Tidmouth||Michael Shipley|
|Sir Hugo Drake||Brefni O'Rorke|
|Death at Newton-Stewart||(3 Feb 1939)|
|A reconstruction of an unparalleled murder of the 'seventies [1870s], extracted from the records of the Ulster Assizes.|
|Brefni O'RorkeFrank Thornton-Bassett Una O'Connor Godfrey KentonRupert SiddonsJoan FrankMillar Wilson Alex McCrindle Adrian ByrneIan DawsonMaureen MooreNigel FitzgeraldJohn CliffordRobert SansomCharles MaunsellEric NoelsClive Baxter|
|The Parnell Commission||(18 Jul 1939)|
|A reconstruction of the famous forgery investigation of 1888–89|
|Sir Charles Russel||Felix Aylmer|
|Attorney General||Wilfrid Walter|
|Eye Witness||Brefni O'Rorke|
|Mrs O'Shea||Olga Edwardes|
|President of the Court||Graveley Edwards|
|Timothy Harrington||Blake Giffard|
|Doctor Maguire||Nigel Fitzgerald|
|Henniker Heaton||Lionel Dymoke|
|Frank Hugh O'Donnell||Harry Hutchinson|
|Court Registrar||Leo McCabe|
|Captain O'Shea||Charles Oliver|
|Servant at Eltham||Moya Devlin|
|Solicitor's Clerk||Russell Hogarth|
|Spanish Policeman||Rafael Terry|
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