Though he lived for only a short time, Glenn Quinn left a mark too deep to be covered and a memory, too deeply entrenched to be erased. The Irish actor lived for a little over three decades but fans and colleagues alike seem not to have forgotten him. His demise may be called a sad ending but we are thankful that he lived.
Quinn is prominent for his portrayal of Mark Healy on the popular ’90s family sitcom Roseanne, the series that paid a poignant tribute to him in 2018. He also garnered a large fan following for playing Doyle, a half-demon, on Angel. Here are all the details you need to know about him and how he died.
Who Was Glenn Quinn?
In addition to the foregoing, his first cry on the 28th day of May 1970 heralded the arrival of a star, Glenn Martin Christopher Francis Quinn. He was born in Dublin, Ireland to his musician father, Murty Quinn, and his wife, Bernadette Quinn (nee Brady). His father, a singer, was also a member of the Miami Showband who enjoyed seven #1 hits in the ’60s and ’70s. He also played for The Sands.
Quinn has two sisters, Sonja and Louisa with who he grew up in Cabinteely, a suburb of Dublin where he also attended Clonkeen College. He also has another sibling, a brother named Ciaran whom unfortunately he never even knew existed as he had been placed for adoption. In 1988, he emigrated to the United States with his mother and sisters and they settled in Los Angeles, California.
Following their arrival in the US, he worked at different jobs including painting houses and waiting tables as well as did some commercials for brands like Brylcreem, Pepsi and Ray-Ban before he was discovered by the casting director, Johanna Ray. Glenn also featured in the music video for the Richard Marx song Satisfied. After enduring eight separate auditions for two different roles, he snagged his first speaking line in the pilot of the teen drama TV series, Beverly Hills, 90210. Following that, he was given a small role with two lines in the pilot although he was barely visible in the final broadcast version.
Glenn Quinn guest-starred in an episode of the short-lived series The Outsiders and shortly after, he landed his first major role in the movie Shout (1991) co-starring John Travolta. In the movie which was also Gwyneth Paltrow’s debut film, he shared an on-screen kiss with her. He further had roles in a number of other movies and television series such as Dr. Giggles (1992) as Max Anderson, also as Cedric Grey on the British/American TV series Covington Cross (1992), Live Nude Girls (1995) as Randy Conzini and Campfire Girls (1997) where he played a dual role as Scott Anderson/Paramedic #1.
In 1990, Quinn clinched one of his most notable roles when he was cast as Mark Healy, Becky Conner’s boyfriend, and later husband, in Roseanne. He played the role from the third season through the final season, season 9 of the series (1990-1997). The show was rebooted for a tenth season in 2018 and its fourth episode was dedicated to his memory.
Although he used an American accent throughout the 7 seasons he starred in Roseanne, his character in Angel, a spin-off of the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Allen Francis Doyle was made Irish so that he could utilize his Irish accent. It was so thick that he had to occasionally “Americanize” it so that one could understand what he was saying. That notwithstanding, he was pleased to get a chance to use it. His other works include Some Girl (1998), Fair City (1997-2002), Jesse (1999), At Any Cost (2000), and his last film, R.S.V.P. (2002).
Death: How Did He Die?
The curtain was drawn on his short life in 2002 at just 32 following an opioid overdose. But such events don’t just happen, or do they? There are usually precedents to some life-threatening actions like drug abuse. For Glenn Quinn, his issue with substance abuse started in 1987 with the breakdown of his parent’s marriage. Also during his time on Angel, some reports claimed that his addictions to alcohol and cocaine made him confrontational on set. He was unable to maintain sobriety and still had his demons. In the months leading up to his death, he had reportedly struggled with homelessness too.
Unfortunately, he was unable to live past the seeming “mistakes” of his folks and his Irish luck ran out and couldn’t save him any longer. His cold dead body was found at a friend’s home in North Hollywood, California on December 3, 2002. An autopsy revealed that he died from a heroin overdose. Poor Glenn Quinn was neither married nor had any children and was laid to rest at Forest Lawn, Cypress, California.
His friend and Roseanne co-star, Michael Fishman set up a memorial fund in his name and many still pay tribute online to one of the most successful Irish actors of his generation.
Facts To Know About Glenn Quinn
Apparently, Glenn Quinn inherited his father’s musicality as he played drums and guitar. He also liked hiking, soccer, and motorsports.
His character on Roseanne was originally intended to be a one-episode guest appearance who would elope with Becky. However, his popularity led to him being given a more recurrent role resulting in a seven-year stint.
Glenn was a co-owner of an LA nightclub called Goldfinger but was bought out. Besides, there were contemporaneous reports that he was begging money from customers and staff and getting into fights.