Actor and comedian David Kelly, a star of stage and screen for 50 years, has died in hospital at the age of 82 following a short illness, friends said Monday.
David Kelly reckoned a scene-stealing appearance as an actor and the workshy builder O’Reilly in the legendary 1970s British comedy series “Fawlty Towers” gained him more international acclaim than all his years in acting.
The snappy dresser played Grandpa Joe Bucket opposite Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s 2005 version of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
He also appeared as a vicar in the 1969 cult British film “The Italian Job”, while his stage credits included everything from William Shakespeare to Samuel Beckett.
Kelly also gave a memorable performance in the 1998 movie “Waking Ned”, where he rode a motorbike naked.
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.”
Dublin-born Kelly was married to actress Laurie Morton and had a son and a daughter.