F. J. McCormick

1889-1947 [stage name of Peter Judge], b. Skerries, Co. Dublin; civil service and amateur theatricals, tutored by Frank Fay and joined Abbey, 1918; m. Eileen Crowe, 1925; appeared 500 plays, noted in O’Casey roles; breach with O’Casey at Plough riot when he addressed the audience, ‘Don’t blame the actors - we didn’t write the play’; film roles incl. role of Fr. Tom Shell in Odd Man Out (dir. Carol Reed, 1947); survived by Eileen; there is an oil portait by Seán O’Sullivan in the Abbey Theatre and a drawing in black carbon on cream coloured paper, also by O’Sullivan (1942) in the National Gallery of Ireland. BREF DIB DIH OCIL

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Brian de Breffny, ed., Ireland: A Cultural Encyclopaedia (London: Thames & Hudson 1982), notes that he created [first acted] the character Seumus Shields in The Shadow of a Gunman (1923), Joxer in Juno and the Paycock (1924), and Jack in The Plough and the Stars (1926); also Oedipus in Yeats’s play [entry by Christopher Fitzsimon, artistic director of the Abbey].

Des Hickey & Gus Smith, eds., A Paler Shade of Green (London: Leslie Frewin 1972), incls. interview with Eileen Crowe, widow of Peter Judge as ‘McCormick: “Don’t Stay in Hollywood”’ (pp.36-42).

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Lennox Robinson called him the most versatile of all Abbey actors [Abbey Theatre, 1942, p.156).

Cyril Cusack vividly recalls McCormick in various memoirs held as the Cusack papers in the possession of the publisher Colin Smythe (Gerrards Cross, Bucks).

Bernard Adams, Denis Johnston: A Life (2002), notes that Sean O’Casey quarrelled disastrously with the cast of The Plough and the Stars (1926), among whom chiefly F. J. McCormack and Eileen Crowe (p.78). Further notes that Johnston records in his diary that McCormick had only two topics of conversation, stomachs and wireless (p.89).

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