The non-profit US-Ireland Alliance has announced that actress Michelle Williams will be honored with an Oscar Wilde award. Williams, who has received rave reviews including Best Actress awards from numerous critics groups for her portrayal as Marilyn Monroe in MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, will be honored on Febuary 23, 2012 at the seventh annual "Oscar Wilde: Honoring the Irish in Film." The popular event will be held for the first time at Bad Robot, J.J. Abrams' Santa Monica Production Company.
The non-profit US-Ireland Alliance created the event to recognize the contributions of the Irish in film and to allow for people in the creative industries in the US and Ireland to meet once a year. In recent years, the Alliance has given 'honorary' Irish awards. Ms. Williams will be the first honorary Irishwoman, and follows in the footsteps of honorary Irishmen Paul Rudd, JJ Abrams and James L. Brooks. The casual party's honorees have always had great fun with their conferred Irishness. Brooks recounted how he was astounded when he learned he was Jewish – his grandfather had been taking him to an Irish pub and so he assumed he was Irish for many years. Abrams' recounted a family trip to Ireland where an Irish policewoman told him he'd return his lost wallet if he first told her how his television series, Lost, would end. Rudd, who built an Irish pub in his house, told funny and poignant stories of his trip to Ireland with his father who was an expert on the Titanic, which last sailed from Cobh, in County Cork.
Trina Vargo, President of the US-Ireland Alliance, said that the organization is delighted to honor Michelle Williams, whose performances have established her as one of Hollywood's most sought-after and respected actors and earned her two Academy Award nominations: "She is an incredible actress with a string of memorable performances, with the latest perhaps being her greatest. She captures not only Monroe's look, voice, laugh, and walk, but even the smallest of mannerisms." Vargo noted that Marilyn Monroe appears to have had some Irish ancestry herself. Her mother's last name was Hogan, the Irish word for 'young'. The family line goes back to Kentucky and references can be found suggesting those ancestors were in the US at least as far back as the 1700's with references to their forebears being from Ireland.
In MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, Ms. Williams stars opposite Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench. For her role as the iconic actress, Williams received the Hollywood Actress Award at the 2011 Hollywood Film FestivaL. Williams was also nominated for her fifth Independent Spirit Award and will be honored with the Desert Palm Achievement Actress Award at the 2012 Palm Springs Film Festival.