Irish stage and screen actor. McAnally first appeared on stage aged 16, and joined the company at Dublin's prestigious Abbey Theatre in 1947, where he often returned to direct and teach later in his career. From the late 1950s, he was active in cinema and television. His numerous screen credits included the films Cal (1984), The Mission (1986), and My Left Foot (1989), and the television dramas A Perfect Spy (1988), and A Very British Coup (1989).
McAnally, who was born in Buncrana, Donegal, Republic of Ireland, made his professional debut in A Strange House in 1942. Among his many celebrated performances at the Abbey Theatre were The Shadow of a Gunman (1951), and The Country Boy (1959), while London appearances included A Cheap Bunch of Nice Flowers (1962), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1964), and The Best of Friends (1988).
His long film career included roles in Shake Hands With the Devil (1959), Billy Budd (1962), The Looking Glass War (1970), Fear is the Key (1972), Angel (1982), Empire State (1987), The Fourth Protocol (1987), The Sicilian (1987), White Mischief (1987), High Spirits (1988), Taffin (1988), Jack the Ripper (1988), and We're No Angels (1989), his last film. He won a number of British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA) awards for his later TV and film work.
At the Abbey Theatre, between 1947 and 1963, McAnally appeared in some 150 productions, attributing his phenomenal versatility to the experience of delivering ‘five lines one week, King Lear the next’.