Derry born U.S. actress Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett, a television producer and entrepreneur, have remained in the top 25 of the Sunday Times Irish Rich List.
The couple are at number 24 in the list with a figure of £375 million.
Roma Downey played kind-hearted angel Monica on the American TV series Touched by an Angel, alongside Della Reese; they remained close friends after the series. Her role as Jacqueline Kennedy led to her role, as the angel “Monica”.
Downey received two Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her role on the show. She is an ambassador for Operation Smile and the author of three books for children and producer of the children’s series, Little Angels. She was the executive producer of the television mini series The Bible on the History channel, in which she also played the role of Mary. Downey and her husband Mark Burnett produced the movie version of the series, Son of God, which was released on February 28, 2014, and was distributed by 20th Century Fox Its sequel, A.D.: The Bible Continues, premiered on NBC Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015.
Downey was born and raised in Derry’s Bogside and attended Thornhill College. Her mother, was Maureen O’Reilly Downey, a homemaker and actress.
Her father, Patrick Downey, was a school teacher by training but worked as a mortgage broker. Originally Roma planned to be a painter and earned a Bachelor of Arts at Brighton College of Art .She turned her attention to acting, however, and had a classical training attending Drama Studio London, where she performed in plays by Shakespeare, Shaw and Chekhov.
This year’s list is topped by retailing family Hilary and Alannah Weston with their accumaltive wealth listed at £11,000 million. Other notable entrants are media mogul Denis O’Brien who is number two on the list with wealth listed at £3,900 million, racing magnates John Magnier and JP McManus who are at numbers 15 and 16 with £587 million and £586 million respectively. Ryanair kingpin Michael O’Leary is at number 14 listed as having £598 million.