R.I.P David Kelly: Irish Character Actor Dies at 82

 
on February 16 2012 5:05 AM

David William Kelly, the Irish actor who was known for his role as Rashers Tierney in Strumpet City, Mr O'Reilly in Fawlty Towers and Grandpa Joe in the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, died in Dublin on Feb 12 aged 82 .

The family of the actor confirmed his death but the cause of the death was not disclosed.

The veteran of theater, TV, film and radio, who worked for 50 years on stage, became a familiar face on British television during the 1970s for his role as the inept builder Mr O’Reilly in Fawlty Towers and also for the long-running role as the one-armed dishwasher Albert Riddle in Robin’s Nest.

He also earned a Screen Actors' Guild nomination for the 1998 comedy hit “Waking Ned Devine” in which he played the role of Michael O’Sullivan.

He was a hilarious man. He had an outlook on life that was slightly skewed and made you laugh all the time, Kelly’s friend Ballykissangel star Niall Toibin told the Press Association.

The actor was remembered at a removal service on Feb, 15, for his dressing sense, his acting ability and his sense of timing, the latter of which he used up to his final breath, the Irish Times reported quoting the priest who led the service as saying.

“Last Sunday, his daughter Miriam left her father’s bedside to retrieve a Valentine’s Day card from her car. She came back, she read the card. It was a greeting of love from Laurie [his wife] Dave [his son] and Miriam. When she finished reading the card, David Kelly peacefully closed his eyes and went to eternity. You could not get better on a Hollywood set,” Fr Kevin Bartley said.

The Dublin stage actor was highly praised for his acting in the 1950s and 60s in Ireland.

Kelly, a Dublin-born actor, was educated in the city's Synge Street Christian Brothers School. He started his acting career at an early age of eight at the Gaiety Theatre.

In 2005, he was honored with a lifetime achievement awards at the Irish Film and Television Awards ceremony.

Kelly’s last film role was in the British fantasy Stardust which was released in the year 2007, in which he played a nimble high-kicking wall guard.

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