Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Stars pay tribute at Kelly funeral

David Kelly died aged 82 after a short illness

Stars of the stage and screen turned out today to bid a fond farewell to actor David Kelly.

Tributes were paid at the funeral of the Irish star, who died on Sunday aged 82 after a short illness.

The dapper dresser, who in 2005 played the part of Grandpa Joe Bucket in Tim Burton's film Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, was remembered as a gentleman with a golden voice.

Dozens of famous faces joined his wife of 51 years, Laurie Morton, son, Dave, and daughter, Miriam, at a service in south Dublin.

Michael Colgan, director of Dublin's Gate Theatre, described Kelly as a gentleman of the acting profession, an unforgettable character and a man with a golden voice.

He said the actor was an exotic creature who was everyone's grandad, a frail, gentle soul who could make Oscar Wilde look underdressed. "Always happy, always generous, he was our very own sunshine boy. The gentleman of our profession," Colgan told the congregation.

Mourners at the Church of the Miraculous Medal in Clonskeagh included Father Ted's Frank Kelly, Niall Toibin (Ballykissangel), Fionnuala Flannagan (Lost), Pat Laffan (The Snapper), Bryan Murray (Brookside), Sean McGinley (The Wind That Shakes The Barley), and Riverdance creator John McColgan.

Toibin, who lived with Kelly in London for six months, previously said he'd always remember him with a smile. "He was a hilarious man. He had an outlook on life that was slightly skewed and made you laugh all the time," he added.

Kelly's list of film credits includes The Italian Job, Into The West, and Waking Ned, for which he earned a Screen Actors' Guild nomination after riding a motorcycle naked for the role.

Despite his longevity, his nine-minute appearance as a feckless builder in Fawlty Towers gave him more fame worldwide than all his other acting roles.

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