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'Father Ted' actor Frank Kelly dead at 77

By Karen Butler   |   Feb. 28, 2016 at 12:35 PM

LONDON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Irish actor and radio star Frank Kelly has died at the age of 77.

The Guardian reported his death Sunday, but did not disclose the cause.

Kelly is best known for playing Father Jack Hackett, the perpetually drunk and angry priest on Father Ted, an Irish sitcom that ran from 1995 to 1998, and co-starred Ardal O'Hanlon and the late Dermot Morgan.

"Father Ted is not a lampoon of the church at all. It's a dysfunctional little family, and it's a very convenient umbrella to bring these people together under," Kelly once told the newspaper. "Ted is a guy who is really trying to do it properly. He's very flawed because he's greedy and has a background of some embezzlement; he's weak. Dougal is a dum-dum, which you will get in any job. But my character is an exaggeration of a problem that exists within the church: superannuated, alcoholic, ancient priests who have to be looked after by younger men."

Kelly's other screen credits include TV's Emmerdale and the film Evelyn.

The actor is survived by Bairbre, his wife of more than five decades, as well as their five daughters, two sons and 17 grandchildren.

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