Roma Downey biography
Date of Birth: May 6, 1960
A native of Northern Ireland, Roma Downey boasts an impressive resumé filled with television, film and music appearances, all of which have drawn inspiration from her Catholic faith. Roma’s original career plan was to be a painter, and she earned a Bachelor of Arts at Brighton College of Art. However, she diverted her career path and turned to acting. She received classical training at the prestigious Drama Studio London and performed in a variety of classical plays by the likes of William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw.
Following her training, Roma joined and toured with a Dublin production of The Playboy of the Western World, which scored her a 1991 nomination for the Helen Hayes Best Actress Award. The play toured the United States, and her exposure to an American audience earned her a role in a Broadway production of The Circle with Sir Rex Harrison. Her Broadway stint paved the way to a television career, where she gave a brilliant performance in the Emmy-winning TV miniseries A Woman Named Jackie.
Roma’s big break came when she was cast as Monica on CBS’s Touched by an Angel, which had a highly successful television run from 1994 to 2003, making the actress a household name and earning her $100,000 per episode. She went on to appear in several TV movies before producing the History Channel’s Emmy-nominated miniseries, The Bible, with husband Mark Burnett. The couple personally financed the project, which attracted 13.1 million viewers for the first episode and shattered network records over the course of three days, growing to 14.3 million viewers on its final night. In addition to producing the Primetime Emmy nominated series, Roma played the role of the Virgin Mary. The Bible inspired the 2014 feature film Son of God, which chronicles the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Once again, Roma and Mark produced the film and she played Jesus’ mother.
The actress enjoyed a brief music career after signing with RCA Victor Records in 1999 and released an album called Healing Angel. After living together for several years, Roma and Mark married in 2007. She has one daughter from her marriage to director David Anspaugh. Roma, who was raised and remains a devout Roman Catholic, has an older brother who is a priest.
Roma Downey Filmography