Tony Doyle (actor)

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Tony Doyle
Born(1942-01-16)16 January 1942
Died28 January 2000(2000-01-28) (aged 58)[1]
Spouse(s)Sally Doyle

Tony Doyle (16 January 1942 – 28 January 2000) was a well-known Irish television and film actor. He became widely known in Ireland in as a then-radical priest in the popular Irish rural drama The Riordans, which began in 1965. He worked consistently in series, television films, and feature films from throughout his life. He died unexpectedly in 2000, at the time playing in a another well-known Irish rural drama, Ballykissangel.

Acting career[edit]

He first came to prominence playing a liberal Catholic priest - Father Sheehy - in RTÉ's iconic rural drama The Riordans.[2] He appeared in such popular shows as Coronation Street, Between the Lines, 1990, Children of the North and Ballykissangel, and won an Irish Film and Television Academy Award for best leading performance for his role in the 1998 miniseries Amongst Women. Tony Doyle also appeared in the first Minder episode, "Gunfight at the OK Laundrette", playing a drunken Irishman.

His most famous film role saw Tony as the head of the SAS, Colonel Hadley, in the 1982 British film Who Dares Wins. His other film roles included appearances in Ulysses (1967), Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx (1970), Loophole (1981), Eat the Peach (1986), Secret Friends (1991), Damage (1992), Circle of Friends (1995), and as Tom French in I Went Down (1997).

He was married to Sally and was the father of six children including the actress Susannah Doyle.

Death and legacy[edit]

He died at St Thomas's Hospital in Lambeth, London, England.[3]

Brian Quigley, Doyle's Ballykissangel character, was written out of the show in the first episode of the final series where Quigley fakes his own suicide, supposedly drowning himself and fleeing to Brazil.

The Tony Doyle Bursary for New Writing was launched by the BBC following his death. Judges include his friend and Ballykissangel co-star Lorcan Cranitch.[4] Cranitch subsequently starred in the BBC detective series McCready and Daughter, which had been written with Doyle in mind.[5]


Year Title Role Notes
1967 Ulysses Lt. Gardner
1970 Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx Mike
1981 Loophole Nolan
1982 Who Dares Wins Colonel Hadley
1986 Eat the Peach Sean Murtagh
1987 Devil's Paradise Quinn
1991 Secret Friends Martin
1991 Adventures in Dinosaur City Rex
1992 Damage Prime Minister
1995 Circle of Friends Dr. Foley
1997 I Went Down Tom French
1999 The Boxer Uncredited
1999 A Love Divided Father Stafford


  1. ^ "Tony Doyle". IMDb.
  2. ^ "Actor Tony Doyle dies aged 58". RTÉ. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
  3. ^ "New & Noteworthy: BallyK star Tony Doyle dead at 58", Irish Echo, 16 February 2000. Accessed 7 November 2014
  4. ^ "Tony Doyle Bursary Submissions Sought By BBC" 13 Dec 2006 Archived 2014-11-07 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 7 November 2014
  5. ^ Jacques Peretti, "One step beyond", The Guardian, 12 June 2000. Accessed 7 November 2014

External links[edit]