Sean McClory was born in Dublin, Ireland, but spent his early life in Galway. He was the son of Hugh Patrick, an architect and civil engineer, and Mary Margaret Ball, who had been a model. Sean decided to become an actor and joined Dublins renowned Abbey Theater (also known as the National Theater of Ireland, opened in 1904). He rose through the ranks playing in productions of the works of such authors as William Butler Yeats and George Bernard Shaw, and soon began to play leads mostly in comedies (popular through most of the 1940s and into the 1950s). When comedies began to fade from the theater after World War II, McClory with turned an eye toward film. In early 1947 he decided to make the jump to America and break into Hollywood. His first roles were that of a staple in American films: the Irish cop, which he played in two of the Dick Tracy series in 1947. In 1949 he signed a short contract with 20th Century-Fox. By 1950 he was showing up in more notable films - though uncredited, particularly in The Glass Menagerie (1950). Within a year McClorys talents were being showcased in various small feature roles. John Ford finally began casting - a painstaking process for the finicky director -- for his long conceived The Quiet Man (1952) and chose McClory for a small but showy part, in which he was seen throughout the film feature with Charles B. Fitzsimons, the younger brother of the films star, Maureen OHara, playing an Irish villager.