Belfast Telegraph

Roma Downey's about to step into legend with own star on famed Hollywood Boulevard

By Nevin Farrell

Actress Roma Downey is set to join legendary names such as Marilyn Monroe, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Errol Flynn on the world-famous Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The actress from the Bogside in Londonderry - who is also Northern Ireland's second richest woman - was chosen from hundreds for the honour given to the biggest names in Tinseltown.

The 55-year-old actress's reality TV producer husband Mark Burnett was previously honoured there in 2009.

Downey said: "I am so excited."

A ceremony will be held next year on the Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, where other big names to get stars include Bradley Cooper (The Hangover trilogy), Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction), Michael Keaton (Birdman), Kathy Bates (Misery), David Duchovny (X Files), Allison Janney (West Wing) and Rob Lowe (West Wing).

Downey is to be recognised for her accomplishments in television.

"Thank you to all my friends and fans for the well wishes... excited and grateful! All Glory to God," the committed Christian tweeted after learning the news.

The Malibu-based actress and her husband Mark took the second slot on the Sunday Times Rich List for Northern Ireland this year with £375m.

Downey is currently preparing her re-imagining of the biblical epic Ben Hur.

In 2013, Downey and Burnett produced a 10-hour docudrama for the History Channel, The Bible, which was later adapted into a feature film called Son of God.

They had been inspired by Cecil B DeMille's version of The Ten Commandments. It received three Emmy Award nominations for best mini-series and enjoyed high US ratings.

Downey recently told a Variety magazine conference: "When you're dealing with Jesus in a screenplay, it's not really the time for improvising."

She is also set to host a new faith-based show in America called Answered Prayers, which seeks to strengthen viewers' spiritual connection with God by exploring "modern-day miracles".

Downey catapulted to fame in the States as the angel Monica on the CBS series Touched by an Angel, opposite singer-actress Della Reese, which ran from 1994 to 2003.

She earned one nomination and one win at the TV Guide awards for favourite actress and also garnered two Emmy Award nominations and two Golden Globe nominations.

Downey has said that the character Monica interested her because it was a strong female role, which she said were "few and far between", and for its spiritual aspects.


Roma Downey had classical training at Drama Studio London where she performed Shakespeare and went on to join Dublin's Abbey Players. On a US tour she gained rave reviews on Broadway and then moved on to TV, playing Jacqueline Kennedy. That paved the way for her most famous role as Monica in US TV series Touched by an Angel, from 1994 to 2003. She and producer husband Mark Burnett have been responsible for some top-rated shows including The Bible, which has been watched by more than 100 million people in the US alone.

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