Walter Macken was an author and actor who was a native of Galway City, Ireland. As an actor he performed on stage in Galway, Dublin and on Broadway in New York. He also acted in movies. As an author Macken wrote novels, plays and novels for children.
Walter Macken was born at St Joseph’s Terrace, Galway on May 3rd 1915. At the time of his birth his father was serving with British Army in Belgium during World War I. He was a member of the Connaught Rangers. Macken’s father returned to Galway on leave shortly after the birth of his son. Following his period of leave he returned to Belgium and was killed in action at the battle of St Eloi south of Ypres in 1916.
Having been educated locally, Walter Macken worked for a time as a clerk with Galway County Council. He left the County Council to join the newly established Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe (Galway Theatre) in 1933. He remained with the Galway Theatre until 1937 when he and his wife moved to London shortly after their marriage. They moved back to Galway at the outbreak of World War II where Macken was appointed director of An Taibhdhearc. He remained in Galway until 1947 at which time he moved to the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.
Macken had begun writing whilst working at An Taibhdhearc. His first big success as a writer came with his third novel Rain on the Wind which was published in 1950. The novel won the Literary Guild award in The United States. Following its success Macken lived near Galway City and was able to concentrate on full time writing.
Walter Macken died at the age of 51 in the year 1967 On This Day.