Support pours in for Father Ted star Brendan Grace after cancer diagnosis
Celebrity friends and family have rallied round Brendan Grace as it emerged that the Dublin comedian has been diagnosed with cancer, aged 68.
Mr Grace had been at a hospital in the Republic receiving treatment for pneumonia, when he learned of the shock diagnosis.
Living in the United States with his wife Eileen and family, he still tours Ireland on a regular basis and has now been forced to cancel a string of summer shows.
"Brendan Grace has been in hospital for the last four weeks receiving treatment for pneumonia," a spokesperson said.
"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."
In the entertainment industry for over 49 years, the veteran funnyman remains best known for his role in Father Ted as the bullying Fr Fintan Stack.
The jungle-music loving character gained the rare distinction of being even more unpleasant than Fr Jack.
Actor Joe Rooney, who played Fr Damo in the sitcom, did not film with Grace on the show but later worked alongside him on comedy 'Killinaskully'.
"He is a brilliant comedy actor - under used really," he said.
"He called me a couple of times. I was on the Marian Finucane show years ago and I was playing clips that had inspired me. One of them was of him doing 'Bottler' which was released when I was a kid," he added.
Grace previously suffered a stroke and has been diagnosed with diabetes in the last couple of years.
Actress June Rodgers said that he is "an Irish treasure".
"He's such a genuine person, he never had a bad word to say about anybody," she said.
"I send well wishes - I didn't know if I should text his phone or not as I don't know what to do in these situations, it can be quite difficult as I don't want to disturb the family. My thoughts are with him, he's absolutely an Irish treasure."