‘Father Ted’ star Brendan Grace dies aged 68

The actor's illness was confirmed last week.

Father Ted star and renowned Irish comedian Brendan Grace has died at the age of 68.

The TV star’s family confirmed his passing to RTE and said they were grateful for the hundreds of messages from well-wishers since his illness was confirmed.

It was reported last week that Grace was “fighting for his life” in hospital after contracting pneumonia, before being subsequently diagnosed with cancer.

A spokesperson for Brendan previously said: “Brendan Grace has been in hospital for the last four weeks receiving treatment for pneumonia. ‘It has now transpired that he is also suffering from cancer for which he is receiving ongoing care and treatment.

“His family are a great support to him at this difficult time and respect for their privacy would be much appreciated.”

Grace was best known to UK audiences as the obnoxious Father Fintan Stack – who featured in the 1996 Father Ted episode New Jack City and uttered the memorable line: “I’ve had my fun and that’s all that matters.”

He previously said of the role: “Some very well known actors also went along but mine was picked because of the way I portrayed him (Fr Stack)” making him ‘more passive-aggressive’ and that’s what the writers wanted.”

He was also an established comedy star in Ireland, scoring popularity with characters such as the comical schoolboy Bottler and even sharing the stage with Frank Sinatra.

Paying tribute on Twitter, Mrs Browns Boys creator Brendan O’Carroll said: “So sad at the passing of a great comedy legend, husband and father #brendangrace He opened doors for so many of us and leaves a legacy of love and laughter that will echo through this land and we will all mourn his passing. Rest peacefully Bottler you’ve earned it.”