David Kelly (actor)
11 July 1929|
12 February 2012 (aged 82)|
Goatstown, Dublin, Ireland
|Cause of death||Pneumonia and lung cancer|
|Resting place||Mount Jerome Cemetery & Crematorium|
|Education||Synge Street CBS|
|Alma mater||The Abbey School of Acting|
|Notable work||Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Waking Ned, The Jigsaw Man, Stardust, Into the West|
|Home town||Dublin, Ireland|
|Television||Robin's Nest , Fawlty Towers, Strumpet City, Emmerdale Farm, Glenroe|
|Spouse(s)||Laurie Morton (m. 1961; d. 2012)|
|Awards||Helen Hayes Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, Lifetime Achievement Award|
David Kelly (11 July 1929 – 12 February 2012) was an Irish actor who had regular roles in several film and television works from the 1950s onwards. One of the most recognisable voices and faces of Irish stage and screen, Kelly was known for his roles as Rashers Tierney in Strumpet City, Cousin Enda in Me Mammy, the builder Mr O'Reilly in Fawlty Towers, and Grandpa Joe in the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Another notable role was as Michael O'Sullivan in Waking Ned.
Early life and career
Kelly was born 11 July 1929 in Dublin, Ireland, and educated at Dublin's Synge Street CBS Christian Brothers school. He began acting at the age of eight at the city's Gaiety Theatre, and trained at The Abbey School of Acting. As a backup career, he additionally trained as a draughtsman and calligrapher, and also learned watercolor art. He appeared onstage in the original production of Brendan Behan's The Quare Fellow, and gained his first major career attention in Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape at the Dublin's Abbey Theatre in 1959. By then he had made his screen debut in a small part in director John Pomeroy's 1958 film noir Dublin Nightmare.
One of his first television appearances was on RTE in "O'Dea's your Man" (1964) in which he played the part of Ignatius opposite Jimmy O'Dea. He went on to become a familiar face on British television with the BBC comedy Me Mammy, opposite Milo O'Shea and Anna Manahan. He went on to often-memorable guest roles on such series as Oh Father!, Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width, and On the Buses, and particularly during the 1970s with a long-running role as the one-armed dishwasher Albert Riddle in the Man About the House spin-off Robin's Nest. He also had a regular long running role alongside Bruce Forsyth in both series of the comedy Slingers Day from 1986 to 1987.
In Ireland, he may be most famous for his portrayal of the character "Rashers" Tierney in the 1980 RTÉ miniseries Strumpet City, which starred Peter O'Toole, Cyril Cusack and Peter Ustinov. He went on to have starring roles in television shows such as Emmerdale Farm in the 1980s and Glenroe in the 1990s, as well as playing the grandfather in Mike Newell's film Into the West (1992).
Following his appearance as Michael O'Sullivan in the 1998 film Waking Ned, he played roles in such films as Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in which he played Grandpa Joe and Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London. He played title character Frank Kovak in the mystery film The Kovak Box, in a rare villainous role. 2007's Stardust was his final film. He also did extensive radio work, including a guest appearance on the BBC Radio 4 series Baldi.
Later life and death
Kelly was married to actress Laurie Morton, who survives him, along with children David and Miriam. He died after a short illness on 12 February 2012 at age 82. The Irish Times referred to him as the "grand old man of Irish acting". A Catholic funeral mass took place on 16 February 2012, at the Church of the Miraculous Medal, in the actor's home town of Dublin. Kelly was cremated at Mount Jerome Cemetery and Crematorium.
Awards and honours
Kelly won a 1991 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production, for a Kennedy Center revival of The Playboy of the Western World. As well, he earned a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for the 1998 film Waking Ned.
TV and filmography
- The Wrong Man (1956) – Policeman (uncredited)
- Dublin Nightmare (1958) – 1st Customer
- The Quare Fellow (1962) – Reception Clerk
- Girl with Green Eyes (1964) – ticket collector
- Young Cassidy (1965) – O'Brien
- Ulysses (1967) – Garrett Deasy
- Me Mammy (1968–71) – Cousin Enda
- The Italian Job (1969) – Vicar (funeral scene)
- Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx (1970) – Tom Maguire
- The McKenzie Break (1970) – Adjutant (uncredited)
- Tales From the Lazy Acre (1972) – Dead Man
- Never Mind the Quality, Feel the Width (1973) – Murphy
- Fawlty Towers (1975) – O'Reilly (episode "The Builders")
- Philadelphia, Here I Come (1975) – Canon O'Byrne
- The Next Man (1976) – Chauffeur in Ireland
- The Purple Taxi (1977) – Little Person
- A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1977) – Dean of Studies
- Robin's Nest (1977–1981) – Albert Riddle
- Cowboys (1980–1981) – Wobbly Ron
- Strumpet City (1980) – Rashers Tierney
- Whoops Apocalypse (1982) – Abdab
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1982) – Tavernkeeper
- The Jigsaw Man (1983) – Cameron
- Red Monarch (1983) – Sergo
- Glenroe (1983) – Sylvie Dolan
- Anne Devlin (1984) – Dr. Trevor
- Stryker's War (1985)
- Slinger's Day (1986) – Fred
- Pirates (1986) – Ship's Surgeon
- Joyriders (1988) – Daniel
- Into the West (1992) – Grandfather Reilly
- A Man of No Importance (1994) – Christy Ward
- Moondance (1994) – Mr Dunwoody
- The Run of the Country (1995) – Father Gaynor
- Upwardly Mobile (1995–1997) – Barman
- The Matchmaker (1997) – O'Connor
- Waking Ned (1998) – Michael O'Sullivan
- Ballykissangel (1998) – Mr O'Reilly
- Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000) – Fr Grogan
- Greenfingers (2000) – Fergus Wilks
- Rough for Theatre I (2000) – A
- Mean Machine (2001) – Doc
- Puckoon (2002) – O'Toole
- Mystics (2003) – Dave
- Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004) – Trival
- Laws of Attraction (2004) – Priest / Michael
- The Calcium Kid (2004) – Paddy O'Flannagan
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) – Grandpa Joe
- The Kovak Box (2006) – Frank Kovak
- Conversations with God (2006) – Job Interviewer
- Stardust (2007) – Guard at The Wall
- Who's Your Caddy? (2007) – Robert "Bobby" Hawkins
- "Actor David Kelly Dies Aged 82". Irish Examiner. Thomas Crosbie Holdings. 13 February 2012. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "Irish Actor David Kelly Dies Aged 82". BBC News. 13 February 2012. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- Healy, Alison (13 February 2012). "Grand Old Man of Irish Acting Dies, Aged 82". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
Kelly was born in Dublin on July 11th, 1929 and educated at Synge Street Catholic Boys School.
- One source, which interviewed him, gives 1928: "Why Life's Sweet for Oscar-Hopeful David". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 30 July 2005. Archived from the original on 4 November 2015.
- Irish Independent, 2005
- Quinn, Michael (14 February 2012). "Leading Irish Actor David Kelly Dies". The Stage. The Stage Media Company Limited. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- Anderson, Paul (13 February 2012). "Irish actor David Kelly, "Grandpa Joe," Dies at 82". Big Cartoon News. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "David Kelly Dies Aged 82". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. 12 February 2012. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
- "David Kelly, Irish Film Actor, Dies at 82". The New York Times. Associated Press. 18 February 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- "Funeral takes place of acting legend Kelly". RTÉ Ten. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 16 February 2012. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- "Kelly, David – 1991". TheatreWashington.org. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012.
- "The 5th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards". SAGAwards.org. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012.
- "Winners of the 3rd Annual Irish Film & Television Awards". Irish Film & Television Academy. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011.