Father Ted star Brendan Grace dies

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Irish actor and comedian Brendan Grace has died after battling cancer, his manager has confirmed.

According to editors at The Guardian, the 68-year-old, who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer 10 days ago, died at 12.26am on Thursday while surrounded by his family.

The Irishman, who was best known for his role as obnoxious priest, Father Fintan Stack in the sitcom Father Ted, had lived in the U.S. for years, but returned to his native Dublin in early June, where he was first diagnosed with pneumonia before learning he had terminal cancer.

His family revealed on Tuesday he had been in hospital for the last four weeks receiving treatment for both conditions.

Grace’s longtime manager, Tom Kelly, told Virgin Media One’s Ireland: AM programme on Thursday morning that the entertainer’s death was “a huge loss”.

“Although he was aware of the outcome himself in the last few days when the cancer was diagnosed, it’s a great shock to everybody,” he said. “He was very weak, he didn’t wish to have chemo or anything like that, and the inevitable happened. He was one of the greats in modern entertaining, it’s a huge loss.”

Brendan O’Carroll, the writer and star of Mrs Brown’s Boys, led the tributes from the comedy world.

“So sad at the passing of a great comedy legend, husband and father Brendan Grace,” he said. “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.”

He is survived by his wife, Eileen, and their four children.

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