The Irish actor Glenn Quinn lost his battle to drug addiction and passed away at 32. He was best known for his roles in “Roseanne,” “Angel,” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Glenn Quinn tragically lost his life to substance abuse at 32. The Dubliner moved to America with his family and later pursued a career as an actor in Hollywood. His drug dependency started in his teenage years, and it went on throughout his entire adult life.
In the months before his death, Glenn had been reportedly struggling with homelessness besides his drug abuse. Unfortunately, on December 3, 2002, his body was found at a friends’ home in California.
Glenn Martin Christopher Francis Quinn was born in County Dublin on May 28, 1970. The late actor inherited his love for art from his father, Murty Quinn, who was a famous musician and part of the Miami Showband.
The band scored several number one hits on the Irish music charts during the 1960s and 1970s. The band represented Ireland in Eurovision, with Dickie Rock as the leading vocalist. Despite their success, the group broke up in 1967. Murty and the other musicians formed The Sands.
During his school years, Glenn was described by his friends as a “fun and intelligent guy.” The young Irish dreamed of being a pop star and followed his father’s footsteps by playing drums in a band.
In the late 1980s, his parents terminated their troubled marriage, so Glenn’s mother, Bernadette, moved with her three children to LA, where the family had some connections. The boy started to get some jobs to support himself until he learned his cousin worked in Hollywood’s film industry.
His brother, Ciaran, is Bernadette’s son who was put for adoption. Ciaran was on a quest to find his biological family, but unfortunately, he could only find them after Glenn’s death.
In 2016, the Irish Sunday Independent published an article about Glenn’s tragic departure, and Ciaran shared what he’d learned about his famous late brother and his cousin:
“David (the cousin) used to work with Dreamworks too, and he was a cameraman on ‘Jurassic Park.’ Glenn used to go and visit him and went to several sets where David would be working. Glenn looked and said, ‘I can do that.’ So he told my mother he was moving to Hollywood.”
Glenn Quinn was a pretty handsome kid, so he quickly landed a few ads for brands like Pepsi and Brylcreem and soon began auditioning. His first gig was a part in the 1989 Richard Marx video, “Satisfied.” After that, he got his first speaking role in the pilot episode of “Beverly Hills 90210.”
He was on a dispute for two of the leading roles in the series and endured eight auditions. But, he didn’t get any of them and lost it out to Jason Priestly and Ian Ziering. In 1991, the Dubliner got his debut on the big screens. He had his first major role in the film “Shout,” starring John Travolta.
The movie marked the debut of another famous name, Gwyneth Paltrow. The two young actors would share an on-screen kiss, but Ciaran said that went beyond an on-screen thing:
“A number of his friends told me that he was knocking around with her and they were young and impressionable and anything went.”
Mark’s role in “Roseanne” was the game changer to Glenn, which he played from 1990 to 1997. Mark Healy was the boyfriend of Roseanne’s daughter Becky Conner. The Irish actor managed to mimick the perfect American blue-collar accent that no one thought he was Irish.
Michael Fisherman, who played DJ on the show said that if Glenn hadn’t gotten the role, Mark would’ve been a “fleeting character,” and he credits the Dubliner’s honesty and dedication for that:
“Mark was a harder character to play than people realize. The bad boy, undesirable boyfriend. Teased as not bright but strong, dedicated and honest.”
When “Roseanne” was over in 1997, Glenn took two other roles that gave him his following — “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” spin-off and “Angel.”
Despite the character’s short life — he took part in nine episodes — Glenn was pleased to play Doyle in “Angel” as he was allowed to speak his native Dubliner accent for the first time in his career.
The public loved him so much that when Doyle was killed off, fans organized an online campaign to ask the show’s producers to bring him back to the series.
WHEN THINGS STARTED TO CRUMBLE
The series was an opportunity for the Irish actor to jump-start his career, but his addictions got in the way. According to reports, by this time, Glenn was abusing alcohol and cocaine, and on the set, he was reported to be confrontational.
Things got worse when the “Angel” actor visited his family in Ireland back in 1997. The breakdown of his parents’ relationship took its toll on Glenn, and the struggles took over.
A battle against his addictions began. Glenn had moments of sobriety, but as his sister told the Sunday Independent, this consumed him. He’d stayed clean for a while, he took care of his mother, and even went to rehab. But, as Ciaran said, the actor still “had his demons.”
In December 2002, the “Roseanne” actor went to a rehab institution in Miami but was soon asked to leave — he was using drugs there. In the months leading up to his death, Glenn reportedly struggled with homelessness, and his drug addiction got worst.
A few weeks later, the actor showed up at a friend’s place in North Hollywood and asked him to stay for a while. Dwayne Higgins told him to sleep on the couch as he went to bed. Dwayne left home when he woke up the following day and thought that his friend was still sleeping.
He got back and went to wake Glenn up, but he got no response. Dwayne called the emergency, but it was already too late. Glenn Quinn passed away from a heroin overdose at 32, on December 3, 2002.