Just as the news of Whitney Houston's death spread across the world, we were then given another bout of bad news yesterday evening when we found out that David Kelly, the man who after Charlie and The Chocolate Factory we all wished could be our Grandad, had passed away. After a short stint in hospital, the actor best known in Ireland for his performance as 'Rashers' Tierney in Strumpet City has died aged 82.
Born on the 11th of July, 1929, David Kelly had an illustrious career spanning over 50 years. Undoubtedly one of Ireland's finest international exports, Kelly was as familiar a face on the stage - taking on roles in everything from Shakespeare to Beckett - as he was on the big screen. Despite hitting the big time internationally on the movie front, the actor remained a permanent fixture on the Irish theatre stages for the 50 years spanning his career. David Kelly's CV was one dotted with unforgettable performances in everything from Fawlty Towers (Builder O'Reilly) to Waking Ned (for which he also received a SAG nomination), the Helen Hayes award he receieved for Moons for the Misbegotten. and, of course, his lifetime achievement award given by IFTA among other impressive accolades.
As tributes for the late actor fill the column inches across Irish media, it seems Kelly's most memorable stage performance will always be Beckett's 'Krapp's Last Tape'. Kelly was recognised for his work on stage just as much if not more than his film roles, receiving the ESB Theatre Award in 2003.
Known also for his acute style and his colourful choice in bow ties, the late and great actor is survived by his wife Laurie and his two kids, David and Miriam.