Frank Kelly, the actor behind Father Ted character Father Jack Hackett, has died.
BBC News reports that Kelly passed away aged 77. He played Father Jack in the Channel 4 comedy from 1995-1998. The perpetually drunk priest was famed for his catchphrases “Feck”, “Arse” and “Drink.”
He is survived by his wife of over five decades Bairbre with home he had seven children. Kelly was grandfather to 17 grandchildren.
In addition to appearing in Father Ted, Kelly also appeared in Emmerdale playing the role of Dermot, Declan Macey’s father. A regular stage actor in his native Ireland, Kelly got his break in the acting business when he appeared in The Italian Job alongside Michael Caine in 1969.
Last November Kelly revealed that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and was also treated for skin cancer and heart problems in 2015. He had received the all-clear from bowel cancer in 2011
Kelly’s death was reported on February 28, the same date that Dermot Morgan died in 1998. Morgan played Father Ted Crilly alongside Kelly and passed away aged 45.
Father Ted writer Graham Linehan has led the tributes to the actor on Twitter.
Just hearing from various sources that Frank Kelly has passed away. Terribly sad news. Thanks for everything, Frank.
— Graham Linehan (@Glinner) February 28, 2016