ENTERTAINMENT — 11 August 2014


By Shelley Marsden

Veteran Belfast actor JJ Murphy died four days after filming his first scenes for the HBO series

The actor, 86, who also had a role in the upcoming Dracula Untold film collapsed and died on Friday. He had been cast last month as Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night’s Watch in the show, and was due to shoot more scenes shortly.

He had expressed his excitement to friends about working on the fifth season of the hit series in Northern Ireland. It is not yet clear whether producers will recast Mr Murphy’s part or re-shoot the scenes he had been due to film.

In Dracula Untold, which was filmed in the North, Mr Murphy played a village elder. He also had a role in the CBBC series The Sparticle Mystery and has had parts in the films Mickybo and Me, Cal and Angela’s Ashes.

It was in theatre that he was best known however, having trained in 1948 with the Ulster Group Theatre School. He spent many years working with the Lyric Theatre, alongside actors like Liam Neeson and Ciaran Hinds.

Director Paula McFetridge from the award-winning Kabosh Theatre Company in Belfast tweeted that Mr Murphy’s death was a sad loss. “He was a great actor and a gentleman.”

Mr Murphy’s agent Philip Young of the Independent Agency said: “I have never encountered a man with more spirit, passion and love for his craft.”

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