Northern Ireland movie star Liam Neeson has joined in the tributes to Senator Ted Kennedy, praising him for his work in helping to bring peace to Northern Ireland.
And in an interview with an American television show the Ballymena man also revealed how he has been coping since the tragic death of his wife Natasha Richardson earlier this year.
"I have a very clear memory of being a 10-year-old boy and being taken to the ancestral Kennedy homestead in Ireland and posing for a photograph underneath the gable of their home with the American flag and the Irish flag up there on the gable," Neeson said.
"I met him a couple of times over the years, and he wrote my family a very, very beautiful, touching condolence letter when Natasha died earlier this year.
"He was a special man. It’s the end of an era."
Natasha died in March after falling during a skiing lesson and suffering a head injury. Neeson said that he and his two sons were "taking each day as it comes".
"I’m still getting extraordinary condolence letters from American people — that’s deeply touching," he said.
He added that this was part of the reason |for his recent decision to become an American citizen.
"I’ve been living here for 20 years and America’s been very, very good to me," he said.
"I’m still a proud Irishman, of course, but I’ve become an American citizen. I’m very, very proud of that."