Malachy McCourt, memoirist and actor on soap opera “Ryan's Hope”, dies at 92

McCourt was also the younger brother of Pulitzer Prize-winning "Angela's Ashes" author Frank McCourt.

Malachy McCourt, the Irish American author, barkeep, and actor known for his long-running role on the soap opera Ryan's Hope, died Monday in Manhattan. He was 92.

His wife, Diana McCourt, confirmed the news to the New York Times. McCourt himself told the Times last year that he had a heart condition, multiple kinds of cancer, and muscular degeneration.

McCourt's childhood was recounted in his brother Frank's Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes, which detailed their mother's attempt to raise the four of their surviving seven children in poverty in Limerick, Ireland. McCourt also wrote his own memoirs: 1998's Monk Swimming, which picks up where Angela’s Ashes leaves off, and 2000's Singing My Him Song, about fatherhood. He was the oldest surviving child of his seven siblings (Frank McCourt died in 2009).

A fixture in the New York Irish community, McCourt founded an eponymous pub, Malachy's, on Third Avenue in Manhattan. Actor Richard Harris was a close friend and worked as a bartender there for a time. McCourt also ran for governor of New York in 2006.

Though he was best known for his recurring role as the bartender Kevin on Ryan's Hope, McCourt appeared in numerous films and television shows, including The Other Guys, The Devil's Own, Brewster's Millions, The Molly Maguires, Starman, One Life To Live, Search For TomorrowAnother World, Oz, Tales of the Unexpected, and Remember WENN.

<p>John Lamparski/WireImage</p> Malachy McCourt in 2011

John Lamparski/WireImage

Malachy McCourt in 2011

McCourt was born Sept. 20, 1931, in Brooklyn, before relocating to Limerick with his parents and siblings. In 1952, he returned to New York at 20 and launched a varied career that included stints as a writer, actor, talk show host, bar owner, and more.

Beginning his career on stage, McCourt worked in nearly every medium, including serving as a sometime host of New York radio programs. He also appeared as a guest on Jack Paar's Tonight Show.

His stint on Ryan's Hope was his most prolific period of acting employment. His Kevin was a raconteur and barman at his best friend Johnny Ryan's (Bernie Barrow) bar, while also acting as a perpetual thorn in the side to his in-law Delia (Ilene Kristen). He appeared on 217 episodes of the ABC soap opera from 1975 to 1989.

McCourt was also beloved for his yearly Christmas appearances on All My Children as Father Clarence, a priest who was also a seemingly supernatural presence when he appeared on to dole out inspirational advice.

Later in life, McCourt had a run as a Catholic priest on HBO's Oz, and he portrayed Francis Preston Blair in the 2003 Civil War epic Gods and Generals.

In addition to his wife, McCourt is survived by daughter Siobhan; sons Malachy Jr., Conor, and Cormac; stepdaughter Nina Galin; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

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