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old hollywood

Heard of Josie MacAvin? She's Ireland's only Emmy AND Oscar winner

A movie-themed tour is being launched at Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum in honour of MacAvin.

universalmoviesuk / YouTube

YOU MIGHT NOT recognise her name, but Josie MacAvin is Ireland’s only Emmy and Oscar winner.

She wasn’t an actor – the Dubliner worked behind the scenes, on set design. She died at the age of 85 in 2005. She’s a three-time Oscar nominee who became renowned for her innovative set design work.

MacAvin was awarded with the Oscar for Best Art and Set Direction for her work on Out of Africa in 1986, and the Emmy for the Gone With the Wind television mini series sequel Scarlet in 1995.

The tour

From today until 5 May, Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum will host a special movie-themed tour in honour of MacAvin.

The museum will also be showing the 1959 Michael Anderson film, Shake Hands with the Devil, on 5 May at 2.45pm as part of Phizzfest 2014.

Its opening scenes were filmed in the cemetery 55 years ago, and it was also the first film MacAvin worked on. Visitors will also get to see MacAvin’s Oscar and Emmy, as well as a display of other film memorabilia connected to people ‘resident’ in the cemetery.

John Green, Chairman of the Glasnevin Trust, said that “there are also many famous Irish people who have achieved incredible things” buried at Glasnevin cemetery.

None more so then Josie MacAvin. She rose to the top of her field and received international recognition when she won both an Oscar and Emmy for her stage work, a feat yet to be repeated by any Irish person to date. She was an incredible servant to the film and television industry both in Ireland and abroad, so it is our pleasure to showcase what a truly spectacular career Josie MacAvin had.

Read: Eirebrushed – the woman ‘written out’ of Irish history (and why this isn’t unusual)>

Read: Rebuilding work begins on bombed O’Connell Tower at Glasnevin>

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