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21 Sep 2009 |

Brendan Gleeson
The 61st Primetime Emmys saw major Irish wins for actor Brendan Gleeson and director Dearbhla Walsh on Sunday, September 20th.

Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges) claimed the Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Thaddeus O’Sullivan’s movie ‘Into the Storm’. Other actors nominated in the category included Ian McKellen (King Lear), Kenneth Branagh (Wallander: One Step Behind) and Kiefer Sutherland (24: Redemption).

Dearbhla Walsh won for her direction of the drama series 'Little Dorrit', the 14 part adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel of the same name. Recently Walsh has been directing the final series of 'The Tudors'. Other directors nominated in the category included ‘Into the Storm’ from fellow Irish director Thaddeus O’Sullivan and ‘Grey Gardens’ director Michael Sucsy.

A poignant moment of Gleeson’s speech saw him thanking the ‘Into the Storm’s production team for giving his parents the chance to see an early cut of the film as his mother passed away shortly afterwards.

Following the wins the Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism, Martin Cullen congratulated the winners "Brendan is one of our finest actors and Dearbhla one of our most accomplished directors."

'Into The Storm' examines Churchill’s life and career at the end of the second World War. The movie also won an Emmy for music composition. It was written by Hugh Whitemore and produced by Frank Doelgar, Julie Payne, Tracey Scoffield and Ann Wingate.

‘Little Dorrit’ was adapted by Andrew Davies (Bridget Jones Diary) and produced by Lisa Osborne and starred Matthew Macfadyen (Pride and Prejudice) and Claire Foy (Season of the Witch). Executive producers of the series were Anne Pivcevic and Rebecca Eaton.

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