David Kelly: A Tribute

I just want to pay tribute to the actor, David Kelly, who died recently.
David Kelly was Irish acting royalty; a star of stage, television and film, who acted in everything from Beckett to ‘Falwty Towers’.
I grew up watching him. He seems to have been on television for as long as I can remember. I can’t believe he’s gone. However, thanks to modern technology his work will live on for future generations to enjoy. It’s just that, sadly, we’ll have to get used to the fact that there won’t be anything new from him.
Unfortunately, I never got to see him perform live on stage. But there are two telelvision roles for which I will always remember him: as O’Reilly, the builder (who gave a new meaning to ‘cowboy’) in the classic ‘Fawlty Towers’ episode; and as ‘Rashers’ Tierney in the excellent RTE adaptation of ‘Strumpet’ City, perhaps his finest role.
I also remember him in a now-forgotten 1973 RTE comedy series with Martin Dempsey called ‘Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow’, which was set in a barber’s shop. The series has probably been wiped by now.
To hear David Kelly speak in interviews, he came across as a soft-spoken, very cultured man, a world away from the characters he played.
His generation of actors is slipping away one by one and they will, sadly, never be replaced. David Kelly was a unique talent and he will be sorely missed.
May he rest in peace.

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