Ovation as Game of Thrones star JJ Murphy is laid to rest
Veteran Belfast actor JJ Murphy, who became an unlikely worldwide star because of his appearance in the cult TV series Game of Thrones, received a fitting final ovation from his stage and screen colleagues at his funeral yesterday.
They applauded as the 86-year-old father-of-two's cortege left St Brigid's church in south Belfast in the same street where his theatrical career had flourished decades ago.
Mr Murphy passed away only four days after filming his first scenes as Sir Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night's Watch in Game of Thrones.
Millions of Game of Thrones fans have also read about Mr Murphy's death on a huge number of internet sites and blogs like the Huffington Post.
Game of Thrones creators and executive producers DB Weiss and David Benioff released a statement saying Mr Murphy's part would not be re-cast even though he had been due to shoot more scenes.
The statement added: "He was a lovely man and the best Denys Mallister we could have hoped for."
They added: "And now his watch is ended."
Parish priest Fr Eddie O'Donnell revealed that Mr Murphy and his wife Mary were to celebrate their 59th wedding anniversary next month, but that instead he was now standing in front of the throne of God.