Belfast Telegraph

Roma's American dream comes true as Derry actress is given a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

By Michael McHugh

Northern Ireland-born actress Roma Downey has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Emmy-nominated performer and producer, who hails from Londonderry, played the lead role in US television series Touched By An Angel.

Her name has been installed next to her husband Mark Burnett's on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.

"This is a great day for the Irish - 25 years ago I came to America from Ireland looking for the American dream," she said.

"I came with my heart full of hope. The American dream meant to me freedom and opportunity, and like many immigrants before me this great country has offered the opportunity to make my dreams come true."

When she first moved to New York she worked in the cloakroom of an expensive restaurant on the city's Upper West Side.

She recalled: "I could have only dreamed about affording to buy dinner in that restaurant.

"I maybe got a quarter a coat and I met my very first celebrity, (television host) Regis Philbin.

"I checked his coat and when he was leaving he gave me $20 (£15.40) and I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven."

A few years later when Touched By An Angel was on television she was asked onto his talk show and recalled the encounter.

"Only in America could that happen," the actress said.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph