Dublin comedian Brendan Grace has passed away, aged 68, following a short battle with cancer.
Grace had been in hospital for the last four weeks being treated for pneumonia. He was also receiving ongoing treatment for cancer. His family has expressed their gratitude to his fans around the world who have been showing their support since he made his illness public.
He was diagnosed with cancer this summer but continued to perform and tour. He is survived by his wife Eileen, children, and grandchildren. His management confirmed he passed peacefully surrounded by his loving family.
His career in entertainment spans over 50 years but he is probably best known for his character Fr Fintan Stack in Father Ted as well as his characters, Bottler, and Father of the Bride. His song, Combine Harvester, was a number one hit in Ireland.
In his later years, he split his time between Ireland and West Palm Beach, in Florida. He came back to Ireland when his health failed.
Tom Kelly, his booking agent of 27 years paid tribute to him as “one of the greatest entertainers of this era.”
Speaking on RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland he said "Brendan Grace was one of the greatest entertainers of this era, no doubt about that. He gave a performance every night that merited the applause he received."
He added "We can look back with pride on Brendan’s lifetime. He was a great family man, very close with them and he was adored by his fans all over the world."
Kelly told the radio show about when Grace had performed for and alongside Frank Sinatra.
He said "Sinatra fell around the place laughing at him. He then went on to perform with Sinatra in London and in America."
Comedian June Rogers told the Irish Independent “I'm shocked this morning he was such a wonderful comic, I was a big fan of his," she said.
"He's a very kind man and he was very kind to me when I started out.
"He was a wonderful family man, Eileen and himself were very much together.
"It wasn't just his comedy, but his voice too, he was an all-rounder.
"He had a fantastic career and he will be sorely missed by everyone in Ireland," she added.
Friends and fans took to social media to pay tribute:
So sad at the passing of a great comedy legend, husband and father #brendangrace He opened doors for so many of us and leaves a legacy of love and laughter that will echo through this land and we will all mourn his passing. Rest peacefully Bottler you’ve earned it.— Brendan O'Carroll (@brendanMrsBrown) July 10, 2019
A posh dinner with the lovely Brendan Grace in Burdocks. So sad that he’s gone pic.twitter.com/FwvVSjN20g— Marty Whelan (@martylyricfm) July 11, 2019
Brendan Grace RIP, a lovely person, unrivalled comedian, superb singer and guitarist, our careers intertwined over the years, our sincerest condolences to Eileen and family, RIP Brendan #BrendanGrace— The Wolfe Tones (@wolfetones) July 11, 2019
Here is one of Brendan Grace’s most popular clips on YouTube:
Were you a fan of Brendan Grace’s work? Do you have a favorite gag or memory of the Dublin comic? Let us know in the comments section below.