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Agent for Irish Actors Was 75 

Agent for Irish Actors Was 75 

Teri Hayden, an agent who guided the careers of such notable Irish actors as Gabriel Byrne, Ruth Negga, Brendan Gleeson and his son, Domhnall Gleeson, died April 18 in hospice care in Dublin after a long illness. She was 75.

In the early 1980s, Hayden, coming from a background in finance, anticipated the growth of Irish theater, television and film and with that an increasing demand for actors’ representation at home. It was Byrne who encouraged her to become a rep, and she launched The Agency.

“Never one to seek the limelight, she was however a fearless negotiator, determined to secure the best possible deal for her clients,” James Byron, a friend of her family, said in a statement. “She was also responsible for anonymously brokering projects even when she had no stake in the production.

“Despite the offer of a lucrative buyout by a major Hollywood agency, she refused to surrender her independence. Teri was inordinately proud of her profession and regarded it as a privilege to represent her Irish actors both at home and abroad.”

Last year, Brendan Gleeson dedicated the IFTA award he won for his turn in Martin McDonagh’s The Banshees of Inisherin to her. “She has led me through this minefield of a profession that we embrace for years and years,” he said.

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Born on April 26, 1948, in Derry, Northern Ireland, Teresa Marie O’Connor completed her secondary education and moved to Britain, where she studied economics and finance at Manchester University. She then relocated to Dublin to work at RTE, Ireland’s public broadcaster, before opening The Agency some 40 years ago.

Survivors include her second husband, Brian Palfrey, a writer and producer (they were married for 42 years); her son, Karl, who worked alongside her for 23 years and is now the director of The Agency; her daughter, Lisa; and five grandchildren.

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