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Roma Downey's Life after She Starred in 'Touched by an Angel' & Disappeared from the Public Eye

Pedro Marrero
Mar 01, 2020
01:57 A.M.
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For almost a decade, viewers enjoyed every week the adventures of angels Tessa, Monica, and Andrew as they fulfilled their assignments with humans, helping them with their life situations in the series "Touched by an Angel."


Roma Downey was born and raised in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she is the youngest of six children. Her father was a teacher and her mother a homemaker. Roma studied at Brighton Art College in England, where she earned her bachelor’s degree.

Previously, she attended the London Drama Studio, where she was awarded the Most Promising Student of the Year when she graduated starring in many classic productions.



Roma was nominated for the Helen Hayes Best Actress Award in 1991, while she has toured the US with Dublin’s Abbey Players, producing “The Playboy of the Western World.” She has starred in numerous on- and off-Broadway productions, including "Love's Labour's Lost," "Tamara," and "Arms and the Man".

Some of her first appearances on the United States screen were a portrayal of Jackie Kennedy-Onassis in the mini-series “A Woman Named Jackie,” and the Disney pilot series “The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage,” playing Danielle St. Claire in 1991.

Roma is best known for her performance as guardian angel Monica, who did her best to bring guidance and messages from God to strangers, all while being helped by her supervisor Tess, played by actress Della Reese.



Roma was married for the first time in 1987 to actor/director/producer Leland Orser, known for “Se7en,” “Alien: Resurrection,” and “Saving Private Ryan” until they divorced in 1989.

Then she remarried in 1995. She was married to producer/director David Anspaugh from 1995 to 1998 when they divorced. The couple shares a daughter, Reilly Marie Downey Anspaugh, born June 3, 1996.

Since 2007, Roma has been married to British television producer Mark Burnett, known for “Survivor,” “The Voice,” “The Apprentice,” “Shark Tank,” and People's Choice Awards. Mark has two children from a previous relationship that together with the daughter of Rome make up a mixed family.



The couple has worked on numerous and successful television projects, including a 10-episode miniseries "The Bible," for History Channel. After the extraordinary success of "The Bible," and under the production of his company Company LightWorkers Media, Mark and Roma continued the story of "The Bible" with "A.D. The Bible Continues" and then they produced "The Dovekeepers," the story of four women in Masada.

As executive director of LightWorkers, Roma and Mark also re-released the classic Ben-Hur with Paramount Pictures in 2016. She is also the Executive Producer of "Faithkeepers," a documentary that follows the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.



Roma not only starred in, but executive produced seven television movies, some of which are "Borrowed Hearts" with Eric McCormack, "Second Honeymoon" with Tim Matheson and "Monday After the Miracle."

She also wrote several books, among them: Love Is a Family, Son of God, Love Makes a Family Display, A Story of God and All of Us: A Novel, A Story of Easter and All of Us, A Story of God and All of Us: Inspirations for Every Day of the Year, and A Story of Christmas and All of Us. She has also hosted a series for the PAX Network called "It's A Miracle" and released an inspirational CD called "Healing Angel."



Having worked as an angel for almost ten years, Roma had the opportunity to support various humanitarian causes and aid groups. After the series ended, and thanks to an episode whose theme revolved around Operation Smile, the actress was summoned to represent the humanitarian organization.


As the national ambassador and spokeswoman, Roma actively worked to promote and raise funds for Operation Smile and accompanied them on one of the trips to Vietnam, impacting her life.

While she was pregnant during the time of the trip and felt moved by the repercussions that a single child has on her family and in her village. This experience made her focus on supporting and helping other organizations and projects over time.


Over the years, Roma has received various awards both for her work as an actress and for her charitable work. The Hollywood Variety publication has recognized her as one of the "100 Most Powerful Women in Hollywood."

The Hollywood Reporter included her in its 2013 "Rule Breakers" issue, a year-end celebration of innovators within the entertainment industry, and Roma won the 2014 'Movieguide Grace Award' for her role as Mother Mary.