Kelly’s first screen role was as a prison guard in The Italian Job starring Michael Caine. He became known to Irish audiences thanks to a long-running role on satirical sketch show Hall’s Pictorial Weekly. He also had a brief role on Emmerdale, although he left the cast after just five months of filming.
But it was his role in Father Ted that earned him a global audience – and multiple Bafta Awards.
In an interview with Irish broadcaster RTÉ last year, he said he was proud of the comedy’s longevity, saying that for all the profanity it was an incredibly “subtle” series to work on.
He also revealed that he treasured a page of the script in his home with the instruction, ‘Caution: It is very dangerous to approach Father Jack.’
“I love that, I’m sure Graham Lineham wrote that,” he said.
Linehan responded to the “terribly sad news” on Twitter.
Just hearing from various sources that Frank Kelly has passed away. Terribly sad news. Thanks for everything, Frank.