13 February 2012 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The distinctive and beguiling Irish actor David Kelly, who has died aged 82, was as familiar a face in British television sitcoms as he was on the stage in Dublin, where he was particularly associated with the Gate theatre. But he was perhaps best known in recent years for playing Grandpa Joe in Tim Burton's movie adaptation of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), an engaging performance that was honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the Irish Film and Television Academy; Johnny Depp, who played Willy Wonka, paid a touching tribute on a video link from Hollywood to Dublin.

Kelly was a tall and flamboyant figure who was often cast as a comic, eccentric Irishman, notably as Albert Riddle, an incompetent, one-armed dish-washer in the late 1970s British sitcom Robin's Nest; he »


- Michael Coveney

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