*Eddie Redmayne. 

KILRUSH’s links to Oscar winning actor, Eddie Redmayne were uncovered this week with his great-grandfather a former resident of Pella House.

Dr Paul O’Brien, a lecturer at Mary Immaculate College and historian from Kilrush was researching Admiral John Fitzgerald Studdert, a royal naval officer, on Sunday night when he uncovered the London born actor’s link to the West Clare town.

Thomas Studdert acquired Bunratty Castle and took up residence in approximately 1720. In 1778 Thomas Studdert of Bunratty married Anne Fitzgerald of Shepperton and had six sons and three daughters, Admiral John was one of their sons, he died in 1867 and is buried in the church yard in Kilrush.

Actor Eddie Redmayne is the great-great-grandson of Sir Richard Augustine Studdert Redmayne, son of Mrs J.M. Redmayne (née Studdert) of Pella House, Kilrush.

Speaking to The Clare Echo, Paul explained that he made the discovery on Sunday night, “I was looking for information on a guy from Kilrush called Admiral John Fitzgerald Studdert, he was an interesting character, his house was Pella House in Kilrush which was subsequently bought by the Glynn family of Kilrush and now the former Clare TD, Madline Taylor-Quinn lives there so it has always had a well-known character living there.

“I was looking for information on him and where he ended up which led me to uncover a grave in the United Kingdom, I spotted that in 1919 Ms Redmayne died, the name was familiar and I couldn’t place it, low and behold I started Googling and all doors led to Eddie Redmaybe. After that it was pretty easy to follow because they kept the name Fitzgerald Studdert down through the ages, they were very easy to uncover in newspaper archives”.

Aged 42, Eddie made his professional stage debut as Viola in Twelfth Night, for Shakespeare’s Globe at the Middle Temple Hall in 2002. He won the award for Outstanding Newcomer at the 50th Evening Standard Theatre Awards in 2004, for his performance in Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? and the award for Best Newcomer at the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards in 2005.

Redmayne made his screen debut in 1998 in an episode of Animal Ark. His television credits include the BBC miniseries Tess of the d’Urbervilles, the miniseries The Pillars of the Earth, and the two-part miniseries Birdsong.

He was cast in his first feature film Like Minds (2006) after being spotted by casting director Lucy Bevan performing in a play called Goats. Redmayne has appeared in films such as The Good Shepherd (2006), Savage Grace (2007), Powder Blue (2008), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), Glorious 39 (2009), and Hick (2011).

In 2014, Redmayne starred as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, a role for which he won the Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor, depicting the debilitating challenges of ALS. In 2010, he won a Laurence Olivier Award and a Tony Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Red.

Since Sunday, Paul has been assisted in his research by Paddy Waldron of the Kilrush District Historical Society. Paddy uncovered that both of Eddie’s paternal grandparents had Kilrush connections with his grandmother born in Eden Terrace on the North Circular Rd in Limerick, she later married Dr Thomas Blood O’Donnell from Kilrush.

Now that the link has been made it is hoped that a future visit to Kilrush can be arranged for Eddie Redmayne and his family. “A visit would be ideal,” O’Brien stated. “He is a multi-award winning actor, he has an OBE and an Oscar, it is Oscar season at the moment. I’m a fan of movies and it would be fantastic if he managed to visit us in Kilrush for a civic reception, perhaps Clare County Council or Mayor of Clare could invite him or Ian lynch who supports everything we do for history in West Clare. We could give him a tour of Pella House, permission would be needed from Madeline Taylor-Quinn and maybe we could show him where the Admiral is buried in church yard”.

The Clare Echo has attempted to get in contact with the multi-award winning actor.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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