Sharon Horgan

Sharon Horgan was a multi-talented Irish TV writer and actress who was best known for creating the widely-acclaimed TV shows "Pulling" (BBC Three, 2006-09), "Catastrophe" (Channel 4, 2015-19) and "Divorce" (HBO, 2016-2019). Horgan was born in Hackney, London in 1970. Her mother was of Irish descent, while her father was from New Zealand. When Horgan was four-years-old, her parents relocated the family to a farm in Ireland. Horgan's Mom and Dad bought the farm and planned to raise turkeys on it. Horgan had fond memories of this period of her childhood. Seeing as the entire family was asked to help out on the farm, it was Horgan's job to pluck the turkeys-a job she eventually became quite good at. Although Horgan would not start acting professionally until years later, she made her TV debut when she was 18 as a backup dancer on the Irish entertainment show for teenagers "Jo Maxi" (RTE Two/Network 2, 1988-1993). By her early 20s, Sharon Horgan's desire to act grew to be incredibly strong. She was still living in Ireland, however, which meant that her choice of professional screen acting opportunities was minimal at best. Thus, to embark on a career in the field, Horgan decided to leave the turkey farm behind and move to London. Upon her arrival in England, Horgan attempted to gain acceptance into one of London's numerous acting school, only to be rejected every time. Horgan's persistence was dogged, however. Rather than pack up and move back to Ireland, she decided to stay in London, taking whatever odd jobs she could find to pay the bills. Horgan would eventually go on to earn a degree from West London's Brunei University in English and American studies at the age of 30. It was also around this period during college that Horgan met the writer Dennis Kelly. Both Kelly and Horgan were working in youth theater at the time, and found that they had similar comedic sensibilities. They soon began writing comedic sketches together, and sending them along to the BBC. As it turned out, one of those sketches won the BBC's 2001 New Comedy Award for Sketch Writing. It was the biggest break in Horgan's fledgling entertainment up until that point. Fresh off the high of winning the award, Horgan's career began taking off. In the early 2000s she appeared in on the TV shows "Comedy Lab" (Channel 4/E4, 1998-2011) and "The Pilot Show" (E4, 2003), and also wrote episodes for and starred in the pitch-black British comedy series "Monkey Dust" (BBC Three, 2003-05). Horgan continued building up her acting resume throughout the early to mid-2000s, before landing her first big TV break in 2006 when she co-created the British comedy series "Pulling" (BBC Three, 2006-09). The series, which she co-created with her longtime writing partner Dennis Kelly, was lauded by both critics and fans. Despite good ratings, however, "Pulling" was cancelled after two seasons. Undeterred, Horgan continued writing and acting at a furious pace. By the early 2010s she began appearing in films also, including "Death of a Superhero" (2011), "Run & Jump" (2013), and "Man Up" (2015). She also co-created and starred in the prison sitcom "Dead Boss" (BBC Three, 2012). That series, however, ran for only one season. In 2015 Horgan had another breakout hit with "Catastrophe," which she co-created with Rob Delaney, and starred in. The show ran for four seasons on Channel 4, and would go on to earn numerous award nominations, including two Primetime Emmy nods. During the run of "Catastrophe," the ever inexhaustible Horgan also found the time to create the critically acclaimed HBO comedy-series "Divorce." That series, which starred Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church, ran for three season on the premium cable network. Both "Catastrophe" and "Divorce" ended their runs in 2019, but once again, Sharon Horgan showed no signs of slowing down. In addition to executive producing the TV shows "Frayed" (Sky TV/ABC, 2019) and "This Way Up" (Channel 4, 2019), the latter of which she also starred in, Horgan also wrote and directed an episode of "Modern Love" (Amazon, 2019- ). Despite having a vast amount of experience writing, producing and starring in TV shows, it was only the second time Horgan had directed for television.