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Northern Ireland actress Roma gets star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Roma Downey.jpg
Roma Downey.jpg

Northern Ireland-born actress Roma Downey has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The Emmy-nominated performer and producer who hails from Londonderry played an angel in US television series, Touched by an Angel.

Her name has been installed next to her husband Mark Burnett's on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.

She said she was touched.

"This is a great day, a great day for the Irish - 25 years ago I came to America from Ireland looking for the American dream.

"I came with my heart full of hope. The American dream meant to me freedom and opportunity and like many immigrants before me this great country has offered the opportunity to make my dreams come true."

When she first moved to New York she worked in the cloakroom of an expensive restaurant on the city's Upper West Side.

She recalled: "I could have only dreamed about affording to buy dinner in that restaurant.

"I maybe got a quarter a coat and I met my very first celebrity, (television host) Regis Philbin.

"I checked his coat and when he was leaving he gave me 20 USD and I thought I'd died and went to heaven."

A few years later when Touched by an Angel was on television she was asked onto his talk show and recalled the encounter.

"Only in America could that happen," she said.

"That one year you're checking coats and the next minute you are starring on television."

Downey has performed on stage with Dublin's Abbey Theatre Company and on Broadway.

She has played JFK's widow Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Mary, mother of Jesus.