On October 20th 1959, Niamh Cusack was born was born into an acting family of great repute: her father was the late Cyril Cusack, star of the stage and screen, and her mother was actress Maureen Keilty. It seemed inevitable that, despite her father’s protestations, she too would take up acting.
Initially, Niamh trained to be a flautist at the Royal College of Music and she worked as a freelance musician with the RTE National Symphony and Concert Orchestra before she followed her sisters Sinead and Sorcha into acting.
Niamh became a household name in 1992 when she played Dr. Kate Rowan in the popular ITV drama Heartbeat
opposite Nick Berry
. However, after five series, Niamh decided to leave and her character was killed off as it was considered unlikely that Kate would simply elope. Throughout the run of the first five series of the show, viewing figures were over 10 million and on her departure many fans were sceptical that the show would continue to be such a success without her. Since leaving, she has appeared in numerous guest starring roles on television in shows such as Poirot
and Jeeves and Wooster
Early in her stage career, Niamh performed at the Gate Theatre, Dublin, in a production of Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance
and Arr N'a Pogh
, and Chekov’s The Three Sisters
at the Royal Exchange, Manchester. In 1985, She joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. After a couple of very successful seasons at the RSC, Niamh returned to The Gate stage in Dublin where she starred along side numerous family members in a production of The Three Sisters
. In 1993 she also played the leading role of Nora in a production of Ibsen’s The Doll’s House
. Following a few years in television, in 1995 Niamh performed in a successful run of Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink
. Despite appearing relatively frequently on television, she continues to act on stage having played Portia on a production of The Merchant of Venice
in 2003, Elaine in Laura Wade's Breathing Corpses
in 2005 and Jane in Amelia Bullmore's Mammals
She is married to actor Finbar Lynch and they have one son. Her sisters are Sinead Cusack
and Sorcha Cusack.
Her half sister is Catherine Cusack
and her brother in law is Jeremy Irons