Widely regarded as one the greatest Irish actors to grace the stage and screen in the 20th century, Donal McCann's success hardly seems like a fluke. He was born into a theatrical family, his father was a playwright, as well as holding the position of Lord Mayor of Dublin. McCann didn't become a thespian instantly, however. He had studied architecture and tried his hand as a copyboy for a newspaper. He started studying acting at the Queen's Theatre and also at the Abbey School of Acting. A short time later, he was garnering attention and praise for his work on stage. His work in film also met with an equal amount of respect and success. Two of the higher profile features he appeared in are Out of Africa and Stealing Beauty. McCann died in 1999, after a nearly two-year-long battle with cancer.