Where is Mrs. Brown's Boys' Rory Cowan now? New career, Fair City, reality TV and personal tragedy

 Since leaving the hit comedy show, the actor and writer has been a staple on Gogglebox Ireland, Fair City, The Olympia Panto and he appeared on RTÉ's Keys to my Life

Rory Cowan celebrates quitting Mrs Brown's Boys with a night out with friends at Funny Girl in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre

Rory Cowan was one of the most high profile and integral stars of Mrs. Brown's Boys.

The actor portrayed the son of title character Mrs. Brown, played by show creator Brendan O'Carroll, until news of his shock departure was announced in July 2017.

Since leaving the show Rory has gone on to play the dame in The Olympia Panto, star as Bosco in Fair City and become the voice of Gogglebox Ireland.

Departure from Mrs. Brown's Boys

Rory announced he was leaving Mrs. Brown's Boys following the last night of their sell out 2017 tour in the UK.

He said at the time: "I hadn't been happy working for the Mrs Brown's Boys company for the last 18 months to two years.

"I feel that 26 years is enough so I decided it was time to go.

"I told Brendan on June 16 about my decision to leave.

"That's when I handed in my notice.

"I was supposed to leave at the end of that week, but Brendan said that would be impossible and asked if I'd stay on until the end of the London O2 gigs. So I agreed to that."

A statement from Brendan O'Carroll and the BBC show said: "To all of us it feels like Ronaldo leaving Manchester United. But Ronaldo went on to have amazing success which I know Rory will too.

“I can't even quantify the contribution Rory has made to our success and the well-being of me and my family, not just on-screen or stage but way before that as a friend and a driving force in getting us here.“

Decision to leave

One moment in particular stood out for the actor, prompting Rory to quit the sitcom.

His mum Esther was suffering from dementia and he was unable to take a break from the tour to visit her, even though they were told she “had days to live.”

Speaking on Saturday Night Miriam in the wake of his departure, he said: “I haven’t been happy for the past couple of years. We were in Australia last year or the year before and, my mother has dementia, but before we went she was still mobile.”

Rory told Miriam O'Callaghan: “But when I was in Australia I got word to say she had days to live. And I couldn’t get home. I couldn’t get home because it was an insurance issue.

"They said ‘If your mother dies you can go home for a week and come back’, all the way to Australia.

“But if she doesn’t die you can’t go. If people want their money back for refunds if you’re not in the show, even though Brendan is the star of the show, you’ll have to pay full price for every seat that’s refunded. And that could have worked out at hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Sad death of his mum Esther

Rory Cowan was left heartbroken by the death of his mum Esther in August 2018.

A notice for the 85 year old on RIP.ie read: “Peacefully while surrounded by her loving family in the care of the wonderful staff at St. Vincent’s University Hospital.

“Sadly missed by her children Rory, Gerard and Maebh, grandchildren Cian, Eoin, Óran and Evan, extended family and a wide circle of friends.

Speaking to RSVP Magazine before her passing, Rory revealed that the years before had been extremely hard on him.

He said: "I would make my mother well, her illness has taken over my whole year.

"Professionally, it has been a great 12 months with a tour of Australia and New Zealand, Mrs Brown’s Boys and Gogglebox.

"But my mother’s illness has overshadowed everything; it was the same last year. It has got to the stage where she is just lingering and it is not nice. I have nothing good to say about 2015 and 2016."

Talking about his health, he added: "With all of the stress and strain of caring for my mother, I now have to get regular massages because I was walking around all tensed up. I always look after my health and I get the flu injection every year."

Rory Cowan & mother Esther at The Calendar Girls Farewell Tour opening night at The Grand Canal Theatre, Dublin

Fair City

Rory joined the cast of Fair City in September 2019, ahead of the shows 30th anniversary.

He currently plays the character of John Bosco, one of Carrigstown's nosey neighbours. Since becoming part of the cast, he played a part of a very emotional dementia storyline as well as the recent Will and Cristiano plot, which saw Will being murdered.


Rory released his autobiography, Mrs. Cowan's Boy, in September 2019.

Panto and Gogglebox Ireland

After Al Porter left The Olympia panto in 2017, Rory stepped in to play the dame. He starred in the festive show for two years including Polly and the Magic Lamp. The year previously, Rory was named as one of the voices of Gogglebox Ireland alongside actress Deirdre O'Kane.

Reality TV

Rory Cowan believes ITV bosses snubbed him after he was offered to appear on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! He was approached by show bosses but he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after coming back from a holiday in Israel in 2018.

He was also one of the guests on hit RTÉ series Keys to my Life, hosted by Brendan Courtney, in April 2020

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