Marie Mullen
Born1953 (age 68–69)
EducationNUI Galway
(m. 1990)
Children2 daughters

Marie Mullen (born 1953) is an Irish actress. She is known for co-founding the Druid Theatre Company, located in Galway, Ireland. She is also known for her performance in the 1998 production of The Beauty Queen of Leenane, for which she received a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.


Mullen is from Drumfin, south Sligo.[1] She said that she wanted "to try to be an actor from when I was in secondary school."[2] Garry Hynes recalls meeting Mullen at Dramsoc at UCG in 1971, when they were both 17, and casting her in The Loves of Cass Maguire.[2] She attended NUI Galway studying archaeology. She met Hynes and Mick Lally, and they formed the Druid Theatre Company.[1]

As a founding member of Druid Theatre Company, she has appeared in many of their productions, including Conversations on a Homecoming (1985),[3] and played the role of "Mary" in Tom Murphy's play Bailegangaire.[4] She also originated the role of Maureen in Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1996).[5] She appeared on Broadway again in The Beauty Queen of Leenane in 1998, and won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.[6]

Other productions with Druid include Brigit and The Cripple of Inishmaan.[7] She appeared Off-Broadway in The Cripple of Inishmaan in December 2008, in a co-production of the Druid Theatre Company and the Atlantic Theatre Company.[8] She also played the role of "Mary", and 30 years later in 2014, the role of "Mommo", in Tom Murphy's play Bailegangaire, presented by the Druid Theatre Company at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway. Critic Peter Crawley for The Irish Times wrote that with Mullen's "astonishing performance comes an amplification of her earlier character’s pain and humour..." and called her performance "transcendental."[9] She also appeared in Tom Murphy's Brigit, presented by the Druid Theatre Company in 2014,[10] as "Mommo", the same character who is depicted in Bailegangaire.

Mullen acted in DruidSynge (2006), a theatre production of the complete plays of John Millington Synge, performed in the same day, by the Druid Theatre Company in which she played parts in five of the six plays. New York Times reviewer Charles Isherwood wrote: "I should start by mentioning the indispensable contributions of Marie Mullen — the great and glorious Marie Mullen I can’t resist calling her — whom New York theatergoers will remember for her Tony-winning portrayal of the frustrated heroine of 'Beauty Queen.'"[11]

In 2007, she performed alongside James Cromwell in the Druid production of Long Day's Journey into Night. She appeared in DruidShakespeare at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2015, directed by Garry Hynes. Mullen played a "sharply etched assortment of men of state."[12]

Mullen is set to star as Mrs. Paroo in the upcoming Broadway revival of The Music Man set to open in 2022.[13]


She appeared in the 1994 film Circle of Friends as "Mrs. Foley".[14] She appeared in the film Hear My Song (1991) as "Mickey's Mom".[15]

Awards and nominations

Mullen won the 1998 Tony Award for Best Actress in a play for The Beauty Queen of Leenane.[16]

Mullen received the 2012 Alumni Award for arts, social sciences and Celtic studies from NUI Galway.[17]

She received the Special Tribute Award at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards in February 2013, recognizing her "immense contribution to Irish theatre."[18]

Mullen received an honorary Doctorate of Arts from her alma mater, NUI Galway, in June 2016.

In 2018 Druid Theatre launched the Marie Mullen Bursary named in her honour. It is open to female dramaturgs, directors and designers.[19]

Personal life

Mullen married Irish actor Seán McGinley in 1990, having first met in 1977;[1] they have two children.[2] Her husband has been associated with the Druid Theatre Company many times in the past.


  1. ^ a b c "On the long hard road of acting for forty years" Sligo Champion, (, 13 June 2015
  2. ^ a b c O'Rourke, Francis. "First encounters: Marie Mullen and Garry Hynes" Irish Times, 4 May 2013
  3. ^ "'Conversations on a Homecoming' History", accessed 7 April 2016
  4. ^ "Bailegangaire". 19 January 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "The Beauty Queen of Leenane". Playography Ireland. Retrieved 17 February 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Marie Mullan Broadway" Playbill (vault), accessed 7 April 2016
  7. ^ "Marie Mullen is guest of honour for St Patrick's Day Parade" Galway Independent, 9 March 2016
  8. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Marie Mullen, Beauty Queen Tony Winner, Begins Cripple of Inishmaan Run in NYC" Archived 2014-05-02 at the Wayback Machine Playbill, 9 December 2008
  9. ^ Crawley, Peter (15 September 2015). "Review: Bailegangaire". The Irish Times. Retrieved 21 February 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Gorman, Sophie. "Theatre review of Tom Murphy's 'Brigit' and 'Bailegangaire'", 17 September 2014
  11. ^ Isherwood, Charles. "Review" New York Times, 12 July 2006
  12. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Review: ‘DruidShakespeare: The History Plays’ Is Complete With a Crown Fit for Many Kings" The New York Times, 13 July 2015
  13. ^ McPhee, Ryan (3 December 2019). "Broadway's Upcoming The Music Man, Starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster, to Hold Open Casting Call". Retrieved 17 February 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ Circle of Friends, accessed 7 April 2016
  15. ^ Hear My Song, accessed 7 April 2016
  16. ^ "Women Highlight 1998 Tony Awards" Times-Union, 8 June 1998
  17. ^ "NUIG announces 2012 Alumni Award winners", accessed 7 April 2016
  18. ^ "Watch Special Tribute Video to Marie Mullen" Archived 2016-04-25 at the Wayback Machine, 26 February 2013
  19. ^ Connacht Tribune, 9 March 2018