(Director) was born in Ireland and began his career as a producer and director of documentaries with Ireland's Radio Telefis Eirann ('RTF). His 1994 coming of age romance, "Circle of Friends," starring Chris O'Donnell and Minnie Driver, was the highest grossing independent film in the U.S. that year.
O'Connor made his feature directing debut in 1984 with the critically acclaimed "Cal," an uncompromising political thriller set against the backdrop of violence in Northern Ireland. The film earned star Helen Mirren a Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival.
His subsequent films include "A Month in the Country" (1987). starring Colin
Firtli. Natasha Richardson and Kenneth Branagh, which debuted at the New York Film
Festival and won Best Film at the Brussels Film Festival; "Stars and Bars" (1988), staffing
Daniel Day Lewis, Martha Plimpton, Joan Cusack and Harry Dean Stanton; "The January
Man" (1989), written by John Patrick Shanley and starring Kevin Kline, Mary Elizabeth
Mastrantonlo, Susan Sarandon and Harvey Keitel; "Fools of Fortune" (1990), starring
Julie Christie, which won best picture at the Barcelona Film Festival; "Inventing the
Abbotts" (1996), starring Liv Tyler, Joaquin Phoenix and Billy Crudup, and most recently,
"Dancing at Lughnasa" (1997), starring Meryl Streep, Brid Brennan and Michael
Gambon, which was recognized as one of the year's top 10 films by the National Board of
Review and for which O'Connor earned the Best Director award from the Irish Film
Additionally, O'Connor was honored with a BAFTA, the British equivalent of the Oscar, for his 1982 TV drama "The Ballroom of Romance."
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