Malachy McCourt was born in Brooklyn, New York, a younger brother of Frank McCourt. The family returned when he was a child to Limerick, Ireland, where he grew up. He came back to the USA in 1952. He has acted on stage, on television (including in the soap operas Ryan's Hope, Search for Tomorrow, One Life to Live, and All My Children, and the HBO prison drama Oz), and in several movies, including Gods & Generals and The Molly Maguires. In the 1970s, he released an album, And the Children Toll the Passing of the Day, and hosted a talk show on WMCA Radio. He and Frank wrote and performed a play about their early lives, A Couple of Blaguards, before publishing their memoirs.