Sunday, October 5, 2014

Remembering Kieron Moore

Kieron Moore was born Kieron O’Hanrahan on October 5, 1924 in Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland. His father, Peadar Ó hAnnracháin (born 1873) (also known as Peter/Peadar Hourihane and Peadar O'Hourihane) was a writer and poet, and a staunch supporter of the Irish language. Several members of Kieron's family pursued careers in the arts. His sister Neasa Ní Annracháin was a member of the Raidió Éireann Players, while his brother, Fachtna, was director of music at the station, and a second sister, Bláithín Ní Annracháin, played the harp with the National Symphony Orchestra. Following his family's move to Dublin, Moore attended Irish language school, Coláiste Mhuire. Later, his medical studies at University College Dublin were cut short when he was invited to join the Abbey Players.
In 1943 the handsome Kieron moved to England and subsequently made his London stage debut as Heathcliff in a production of “Wuthering Heights”. Taking the stage name Kieron Moore, he went on to gain more notice in such plays as “Purple Dust” by 'Sean O'Casey' and “Everyman”. He made an impressive film debut as an Irish Republican Army killer in “The Voice Within” (1945). The heroine in the film, murdered by Kieron's character, was played by actress Barbara White who he married in 1947. Barbara retired shortly thereafter.
Kieron took a bite of the Hollywood apple when cast as Uriah the Hittite in the plush but stilted biblical epic “David and Bathsheba” (1951) opposite Gregory Peck and 'Susan Hayward' , and as a dashing Foreign Legion corporal in “Ten Tall Men” (1951), starring Burt Lancaster. Not much happened as a result and he returned to England. There he continued to offer fine and varied performances, notably in “The Green Scarf” (1954).
At this juncture Kieron's status started to regress with more and more routine films handed him, including “Doctor Blood's Coffin” (1961), “I Thank a Fool” (1962) and “The Thin Red Line” (1964). He played second fiddle to special effects in “Crack in the World” (1965), the Euro-western “Son of a Gunfighter” (1965), and to Gregory Peck in “Arabesque” (1966). He took as his final film the underwhelming Euro-western “Custer of the West” (1967) in which he was oddly cast as an Indian chief. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s he customarily performed on TV, including a short-lived series.
After retiring from feature film work altogether in 1974, his life took a religious and socially-active turn. He joined the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, for whom he worked for nine years, directing and narrating two film documentaries in the course of that time. Moore retired completely in 1994 to Charente-Maritime in France, where he joined the church choir, became a hospital visitor, and enjoyed reading French, Spanish, English and Irish literature.
Moore died in Charente Maritime, France on July 15, 2007.
Today we remember Kieron Moore on what would have been his 90th birthday.

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