Tuesday, February 14, 2012

David Kelly Dead at 82

David Kelly, a TV and theater star for 50 years, has died following a short illness, friends said Monday. He was 82.

With such a long, varied and international career, it's hard to say how he will be best remembered, but a good guess is as the workshy builder O'Reilly in the 1970s British comedy "FAWLTY TOWERS," which probably gained him more international recognition than any other role.

Of course, he also played Grandpa Joe Bucket opposite Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's 2005 film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Soap fans may recall his appearance on the British series EMMERDALE in the 1970s as Mick Cavan, and in the Irish serial GLENROE in the 1980s as Sylvie Dolan.

In 1969 he played a vicar in the cult British film "The Italian Job", while his theater credits included everything from Shakespeare to Beckett.

Actor friend Niall Toibin, who lived with him in London for six months, told RTE state radio: "He was a hilarious man. He had an outlook on life that was slightly skewed and made you laugh all the time."

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