Best Actor winner Cillian Murphy shares tender kiss with his proud wife Yvonne McGuinness and thanks her for being his ‘partner in life and art’

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Written By Maya Cantina

Cillian Murphy shared a tender kiss with his proud wife and thanked her for being his ‘partner in life and art’ as he became the first Irish-born winner of the Best Actor Oscar at the 96th Academy Awards in Los Angeles last night.

The 47-year-old actor, who hails from Cork, Ireland, was joined by his wife Yvonne McGuiness, 51, as atomic blockbuster Oppenheimer swept the Oscars with a sensational seven awards.

The couple, who first met in the 1990s and tied the knot in 2004, shared a sweet kiss and gazed into each other’s eyes before Cillian took to the stage to collect the prestigious Best Actor gong.

As he paid tribute to those who have supported him on his journey, the actor said: ‘Yvonne McGuiness, my partner in life and art. My two boys, Malachy and Aran who are sitting up there. I love you so much.’

Cillian said he was ‘overwhelmed’ to have won, adding: ‘I’m a very proud Irishman standing here tonight.’ He then lifted his Oscar to the air and was met with huge cheers from the crowd.

Cillian Murphy’s wife channelled dark glamour as she donned an inky black gown for Sunday’s Academy Awards in Los Angeles

Proud of you! Yvonne looks into her husband's eyes as he is announced as winner

Proud of you! Yvonne looks into her husband’s eyes as he is announced as winner

Before giving him a kiss!

Before giving him a kiss!

Cillian Murphy became the first Irish-born winner of the Best Actor Oscar last night. He is pictured here in his role as J Robert Oppenheimer

Cillian Murphy became the first Irish-born winner of the Best Actor Oscar last night. He is pictured here in his role as J Robert Oppenheimer

Despite his steady rise to global fame over the past few years, Cillian has managed to maintain a low-key family life – thanks in part to the unwavering support of his wife Yvonne.

Appearing on Desert Island Discs, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 last month, the actor said his wife has been ‘crucial’ in helping him adapt to Hollywood.

Speaking to host Lauren Laverne, Cillian explained how he found the ‘ancillary aspect’ of being an actor – such as walking red carpets – ‘quite challenging’.

Gushing about his wife, he continued: ‘To have a really secure, solid base is important.

‘You have to have that safe place. I certainly do. It’s just like an island of comfort and ease.’

He told Lauren Laverne: ‘It’s been crucial, honestly. 

‘I don’t think I could have done any of the things that we’ve talked about without having them.

‘It’s been the most important thing for me, having those kids and raising them.’ 

The couple – who have made efforts to shun the spotlight – have now been together for over 28 years and share two sons. 

Yvonne McGuinness, 51, joined her husband - who is nominated for Best Actor in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer - on the red carpet

Yvonne McGuinness, 51, joined her husband – who is nominated for Best Actor in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer – on the red carpet

The Irish visual artist, who shares two sons with the Hollywood actor, opted for a theatrical shoulderless gown, the neckline of which descended into puffy sleeves

The Irish visual artist, who shares two sons with the Hollywood actor, opted for a theatrical shoulderless gown, the neckline of which descended into puffy sleeves

Yvonne wore a black gown

She accesorised with a choker

The cinched bodice also flowed out into a fitted skirt. Yvonne accessorised her monochrome look with a choker necklace

Cillian and Yvonne first met in the 1990s when he was starring in a play called Disco Pigs, which is about two Irish teenagers and was later adapted into a film. 

Following a successful run in Dublin, the play then transferred to Edinburgh, London, Australia and the US, which is how Irish musician Yvonne McGuinness got involved. 

Speaking to The Guardian in 2016, the actor – whose parents were teachers – said: ‘That time, making Disco Pigs, was kind of the most important period of my life. The people I met there remain my closest friends. 

‘They shaped me in terms of my tastes, in terms of what I wanted to do with my life. And it was around the same time I met my wife. 

‘She came on tour with us. It was so exciting, 20 years ago or whatever it was – we were all just kids, trying to find our way – but such a special, special time.’

Yvonne grew up in Kilkenny, Ireland, and studied at Cork Institute of Technology. In 2001, the couple are said to have moved to London so Yvonne could study for her master’s at the Royal College of Art.

Yvonne’s uncle is the Irish politician Jim McGuinness and her grandfather Michael McGuinness also reportedly was Kilkenny’s longest-serving councillor from 1959-1999.

Cillian and Yvonne first met in the 1990s when he was starring in a play called Disco Pigs, which is about two Irish teenagers and was later adapted into a film

Cillian and Yvonne first met in the 1990s when he was starring in a play called Disco Pigs, which is about two Irish teenagers and was later adapted into a film

The couple married in 2004 and reportedly held the ceremony at Yvonne’s father’s vineyard in France. 

However, the couple have never publicly commented on this rumour or acknowledged where their wedding took place.

The following year, the couple welcomed their first son Malachy – with Aran following in 2007.

Although the family were living in London at the time, Cillian and Yvonne decided to return to Dublin to raise their young family.

He told The Guardian: ‘We wanted them to be Irish, I suppose. It’s amazing how quickly their accents have adapted.’ 

In 2005, Cillian also shut down any possibility of him moving to the US for work and praised Yvonne for her continuing support.

He told People magazine: ‘I don’t need to live in Los Angeles. I’d be tremendously far away from my family — I’d never see them.’

Although the family were living in London at the time, Cillian (pictured with John Krasinski) and Yvonne decided to return to Dublin to raise their young family.

Although the family were living in London at the time, Cillian (pictured with John Krasinski) and Yvonne decided to return to Dublin to raise their young family.

In 2005, Cillian also shut down any possibility of him moving to the US for work and praised Yvonne for her continuing support. Pictured next to his co-star Emily Blunt

In 2005, Cillian also shut down any possibility of him moving to the US for work and praised Yvonne for her continuing support. Pictured next to his co-star Emily Blunt

While Cillian’s career skyrocketed over the past two decades, Yvonne has also created short films and other experimental artwork. 

The mother-of-two’s bio on her website reads: ‘She has an interest in embodied experience of place and belonging by staging live, public, interventions and performances which create surreal and dynamic moments of interaction and connection to place, time and communities.’

Last summer, Cillian revealed it was Yvonne’s idea to adapt Claire Keegan’s novel Small Things Like These into a film. 

Speaking to The Guardian in a separate interview, Cillian remembered telling her: ‘No, there’s no way [the rights would be available]. That’s going to be gone already.’

Much to his delight, Cillian’s agent told him the book rights hadn’t been purchased – which prompted him to pitch the idea to Matt Damon, who has his own studio.

At Sunday’s Academy Awardsm Yvonne channelled dark glamour as she donned an inky black gown.

The Irish visual artist opted for a theatrical shoulderless gown, the neckline of which descended into puffy sleeves.

The cinched bodice also flowed out into a fitted skirt. Yvonne accessorised her monochrome look with a choker necklace. She accessorised with a clutch and simple jewellery, adding a pop of grunge with some black nail polish.

Yvonne matched her make-up to the gothic aesthetic with a red lipstick and smokey eyes. The mother-of-two tied her chestnut tresses back as she held her husband’s hand for the occasion.

Earlier this year, Yvonne also joined her husband as he won Best Actor for his role in Oppenheimer at the Golden Globes.

After his win was announced, Yvonne jumped out of her seat and gave her husband a quick kiss – prompting him to joke about the red lipstick on her mouth during his speech. 

During his acceptance speech, Cillian dubbed himself ‘the luckiest man’ as he spoke directly to his wife and children. 

‘To my family, I’m the luckiest man and I love you,’ he said. 

Cillian Murphy and Yvonne McGuiness arriving at the Golden Globes in January, where the A-Lister won Best Actor

Cillian Murphy and Yvonne McGuiness arriving at the Golden Globes in January, where the A-Lister won Best Actor

The week before, the actor paid tribute to Yvonne and their sons while honored with the Desert Palm Achievement Award at the Palm Springs International Film Awards.

He said: ‘Two-thirds of them are sitting down there. We had to leave one of them at home doing exams.

‘But just thanks for putting up with me — putting up with the half me and the shadow me and the absent me, the remains of me when I’m doing a film like this or work in general. You’re always there. I love it. So thanks, guys.’

During his appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, Cillian admitted he has ‘struggled’ with walking red carpets in the past.

He added: ‘It is still not something I’m totally at ease with. You have to choose to enjoy it and I think you can do that in your brain. Just make that alteration and it’s easier then.’ 

However, he did go on to say that having Yvonne with him this year has made it easier.

He added: ‘I’ve had my wife and kids with me and that’s been lovely. You’d be an idiot not to enjoy it. Go with it, that’s my attitude.’ 

Elsewhere, Cillian paid loving tribute to his wife and their life together.

He told Lauren Laverne: ‘It’s been crucial, honestly. I don’t think I could have done any of the things that we’ve talked about without having them.

‘I’ve been with my wife for 28 years now. It’s been the most important thing for me, having those kids and raising them.’ 

The A-List actor went on to say that having a ‘secure, solid base’ has been really important to him and functions as a ‘safe place’ amid the madness of fame. 

During the interview, Cillian also admitted he was ‘relieved’ the BBC drama had ended in 2002 but is now ‘totally’ on board with a movie adaptation.

Cillian also hinted that the programme’s writer, Steven Knight, had more stories to tell about the Birmingham-based Shelby clan and their criminal activities between the 1880s and 1910s.

He explained: ‘I have always said that if Knight delivers a script that I know he can deliver, because he is such a phenomenal writer, I’ll be there. If we want to watch 50-year-old Tommy Shelby, let’s do it.’ 

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

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