Brendan Grace dead: Father Ted and Bottler actor dies, aged 68

Irish actor, also known for schoolboy character Bottler, was battling lung cancer

Brendan Grace as Father Fintan Stack in Father Ted

Father Ted star Brendan Grace has died aged 68.

The multi-talented Irish actor, bets known as Father Fintan Stack in the hit sitcom and schoolboy character Bottler, was battling lung cancer.

Last week, he was forced to cancel his scheduled summer tour of Ireland and the UK after being diagnosed with the disease.

After being taken to hospital in Ireland for treatment, he is said to have died “peacefully” in the early hours of the morning.

As well as acting, Grace was a comedian and enjoyed an illustrious career on the circuit for 40 years.

He was a dad-of-four and lived with his wife of 45 years, Eileen, in Florida.

Mrs Brown's Boys creator Brendan O'Carroll paid tribute to Grace, hailing him as a “comedy legend”.

“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,” the actor said.

Grace was also a singer and, in 1975, recorded the original version of “Combine Harvester”, which The Wurzels covered a year later. It went to number one in Ireland.

In 2009, Grace lost two toes to gangrene after being diagnosed with diabetes and suffered a stroke last year – but continued performing comedy live.

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