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General information  

  • Place of birth : Éire
  • Date of birth : 25/09/1964

Alias  

  • Kennedy Doyle Maria
  • – all'anagrafe Maria Josephine Doyle –

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Maria Doyle Kennedy (1964)

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  Summary  

Maria Doyle Kennedy is an award-winning Irish actress and singer. She is possibly best known for her roles as Natalie, in cult film The Commitments, Queen Katherine of Aragon in the award winning The Tudors and as the title character's wife Frances in The General.

  Biography  

 Early life
She is an honours graduate of Trinity College Dublin faculty of E.S.S.

 Musical career
In 2001, Maria released music on Mermaid Records, a label she founded herself. Her debut solo album Charm was released in 2001. She coordinated Sirens which is a compilation album of female artists and which was released in 2003. She released an album Skullcover consisting of cover versions in 2005, and Mütter in 2007. Maria’s new album with her husband Kieran is called The Storms Are On the Ocean. A collection of Appalachian standards dressed in darned gowns, its spiritual siblings are Plant's Band of Joy, PJ's White Chalk and Gillian Welch's stark daguerreotypes. Here are courtly tunes, murder ballads, child ballads and death fugues all backlit by Kieran Kennedy's acoustic guitar, banjo and piano.
Both of her solo albums have been nominated for Meteor awards and her forthcoming project sees her teamed with U.S. country music legend John Prine Damien Rice and Paul Brady.

Musical History
Maria joined a band while still in college in the mid-80s. They formed originally to enter a Slogadh competition but music quickly became a motivating force in her life. She has spent the best part of 20 years performing live all over the world to audiences ranging from the many thousands who have enjoyed her show at festivals to the more intimate theatre concerts.

One must include in Maria Doyle's musical history her appearance as Natalie, one of a trio of backup singers in the 1991 film the Commitments. The Commitments documents
the rise and fall of an Irish "Soul" band in Dublin.

Maria released her first album “When Justice Came” in 1989 with The Black Velvet Band. Recorded in Los Angeles in 1989 It reached No.4 in the Irish charts and is ranked among the best Irish albums of the Late 1980s. She then united with producers Clive Langer and Allen Winstanley to record her second Black Velvet Band album "King Of Myself" in 1992.
Irish music magazine Hot Press later called her "The finest voice this country has ever produced."

'The Lady Sings The Blues' a compilation Album featuring Maria alongside Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Annie Lennox, followed and proved to be a best selling album in 1994. It also established Maria in new markets in Europe the US and Japan. Touring Europe for the first time, she got rave reviews from The Guardian, The Times and others.

Maria produced a documentary -Golden Boy- based on the life and work of Irish artist Patrick Scott and has appeared as a broadcaster on Irish television filling in for John Kelly on his Mystery Train show and for Tom Dunne on Pet Sounds.

 Acting career
In 2007 and 2008, Maria played Queen Katherine of Aragon (King Henry VIII's first wife and mother of Mary I of England) on The Tudors. She was rumoured to have returned as Katherine of Aragon in a dream sequence to The Tudors for the fourth and final season in mid 2010,and this was confirmed when the first promotional picture of the season showed Katherine on the cover. Kennedy will appear on Irish screens early in 2011 on TG4's Corp & Anam in her first Irish language acting role. Kennedy portrayed Sonya, a nanny to Dexter Morgan's son Harrison in the fifth season of Showtime's Dexter. She joined the cast of ITV period drama Downton Abbey, appearing as Vera Bates, estranged wife of Lord's Grantham's valet.

 Personal life
In 1988, she married musician Kieran Kennedy, and they have four sons, Louis, Jesse James, Daniel and Salvador. Kennedy speaks fluent Irish.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Maria Doyle Kennedy", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.