Pauline McLynn (born 11 July 1962) is an Irish character actress and author. She is best known for her roles as Mrs Doyle in the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted, Libby Croker in the Channel 4 comedy drama Shameless, and Yvonne Cotton in the BBC soap opera EastEnders.
Born in Sligo, McLynn grew up in Galway. She studied History of Art and Modern English at Trinity College, Dublin, but was more heavily involved in the college’s drama society. She graduated with an MA.
Although McLynn was in her early thirties when playing Mrs Doyle, makeup was used to make her look far older to fit the character’s profile. She received a British Comedy Award for her performances in 1996. The award was presented to her by Tony Blair.
Other televised appearances have been in sketches on Bremner, Bird and Fortune, and numerous panel shows, including Just a Minute, Have I Got News for You, and If I Ruled the World. In 1999, she appeared in the film adaptation of Angela’s Ashes.
McLynn is married to theatrical agent Richard Cook. She is a patron of the children’s charity World Vision Ireland and is president of Friends of Innisfree Housing Association. She is also a patron of Birmingham Greyhound Protection and for Littlehill Animal Rescue and Sanctuary in Ireland.
McLynn is a fan of the Championship football team Aston Villa. She says her best moment supporting Villa came in 1996 when she watched them beat Leeds United in the Football League Cup final with her Father Ted co-star Ardal O’Hanlon, who is a Leeds supporter.