Roma Downey is an actress, singer, and producer, from Derry, Northern Ireland. She is best known as Tess's angel/employee in the successful American TV series Touched by an Angel. She is also the wife of television producer, Mark Burnett.
With her growing popularity, Downey gained the role of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis in the 1991 U.S. TV 6 hour mini series A Woman Named Jackie which went on to win the Emmy award that year.
Eventually, this led to her most famous role, as the angel "Monica", on the CBS series Touched by an Angel, which ran from 1994 to 2003, also starring Della Reese. For this role, she earned one nomination and one win at the TV Guide awards for favorite actress, and also garnered two Emmy Award nominations and two Golden Globe nominations.
Downey has said the character Monica interested her because it was a strong female role, which were "few and far between", and also for its spiritual aspects:
"It was pilot season of ‘94, and I was reading through endless junk scripts that were being sent my way. Typically the roles were to play his wife or his girlfriend – leading roles for women were few and far between. Suddenly a very unusual script turned up. “Now this is curious,” I remember thinking. Because I’m a person of faith, the spiritual aspects got my attention. Also, the actress in me was delighted to read a show that had not one but two strong female roles – female angels. I was to audition for Monica, and I very much liked Della Reese, who of course ended up playing Tess."
Downey also produced, and starred in, many TV movies, including Borrowed Hearts and Second Honeymoon. During the run of Touched By An Angel, she recorded the spoken-word album Healing Angel and wrote the children's book Love Is A Family. She hosted "It's a Miracle" on the Pax Network and most recently starred again on stage in "A Picasso" at the Geffen Theatre in LA. She has hosted Saturday Night Live, was one of People magazine's most beautiful people and is a spokesperson for the volunteer group "Operation Smile". For her nine seasons on-air, she developed a chemistry with Reese, and the two struck up a friendship that continued in the aftermath of the show's cancellation.
She recently starred in the movie Come Dance at My Wedding alongside John Schneider.
On 18 April 2009, Downey and her husband Mark Burnett, delivered the keynote address and accepted an honorary doctorate of law at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management commencement ceremony.
Roma graduated from the University of Santa Monica with a master's degree in Spiritual Psychology.
On July 16, 2011 Roma appeared with actress Marion Ross in the made for TV movie Keeping up with the Randalls, broadcast on the Hallmark Channel.
On May 24, 2011, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett announced they are producing a 10-Hour Docudrama for the History Channel Network based on stories from the Bible scheduled to air sometime 2013. THE BIBLE series is being produced for the History Channel by Lightworkers Media and Hearst Entertainment & Syndication. Executive Producers are Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and Richard Bedser.
Downey is the executive producer of the animated video series, Little Angels, which released on DVD with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment February 14, 2012.
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