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Paula Wagner to Introduce


February 9, 2013:  Michele Burke, the winner of two Academy Awards for Makeup, will join Colin Farrell and Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns as an honoree at “Oscar Wilde:  Honoring the Irish in Film.”  The US-Ireland Alliance event will be held at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company in Santa Monica on 21 February.

The Kildare, Ireland-born makeup artist won an Oscar for her work on Jean-Jacques Arnaud’s QUEST FOR FIRE in 1983. Prior to this Michele began her career doing makeup for fashion and horror films. She won her second Oscar in 1993 for Francis Ford Coppola’s version of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, which starred Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins and Keanu Reeves. 

Alliance president Trina Vargo said, “We’ve been aiming to honor Michele for some time, but she’s almost always working!  She has been in great demand throughout her career.”   Her most recent film projects include films starring Tom Cruise – MISSION IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL, ROCK OF AGES, and Joseph Kosinski’s soon-to-be released OBLIVION.

She will be introduced on the night by producer Paula Wagner, with whom she has worked on several films.  Most recently they worked together on the Broadway play The Heiress, which was produced by Wagner’s Chestnut Ridge Productions.  Burke did the special makeup design for Jessica Chastain who starred in the production.  Wagner is a producer of JACK REACHER, also starring Tom Cruise and currently in theaters.

Burke is a two-time winner of the BAFTA for CYRANO DE BERGERAC and QUEST FOR FIRE, and was nominated for INTERVIEW WTH THE VAMPIRE, which was directed by former Oscar Wilde honoree Neil Jordan.  She also worked with former honorees Jim Sheridan and Terry George on SOME MOTHER’S SON.   Burke was the recipient of the Emmy Award for “Alien Nation.”   She was also nominated for another four Oscars for THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR, CYRANO DE BERGERAC, AUSTIN POWERS, THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME, and THE CELL.

Among those planning to attend the Oscar Wilde event include Jerry Lewis, Oscar-winning screenwriter William Monahan, director John Moore, actors Liam Hemsworth, Jason O’Mara, Jason Schwartzman and Dominique McElligott and many Irish producers and directors in LA for the event. 

Major sponsors of the Oscar Wilde event are American Airlines and Accenture.