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'Giant in acting, talent and personality' dies

Marie Louise McCrory m.mccrory@irishnews.com

A n "immensely talented" Co Down actor, who enjoyed a successful stage, television and film career, has died following a battle with cancer. Gerard murphy, who was originally from newry, died on monday at his home in Histon, Cambridge. The 64-year-old had been battling prostate cancer. Having begun his acting career at the age of 19, when he joined the Glasgow Citizens Theatre, the irish actor went on to become an Associate Artist of the Royal shakespeare Company.

During his career, which included radio work, murphy acted with all major theatre companies in Britain. While his television credits included Spooks, Dalziel and Pascoe, and Father Ted, his big screen appearances included Batman Begins and Waterworld. Despite living in england, Gerard maintained strong links with newry and in recent times had returned home to spend time with performing arts students at southern Regional College.

Paying tribute, michael Ruane, mayor of newry and mourne, said murphy was "truly a giant in acting circles, in stature, talent and personality". "i hope to be able to provide details at a later stage of how the council will pay tribute to Gerard. His passing sees the loss of one of newry's most famous sons and it will be fitting to mark his contribution in an appropriate manner". sDlP assembly member Karen mcKevitt described murphy as "an immensely talented actor and director and he will be remembered fondly by the people of northern ireland particularly in his home town of newry". Agent lynda Ronan, who represented murphy, said he was not only a "well-known and well-loved actor but he was also a great friend to many, many people. "A great inspiration to us all. He has always been a newry boy and was very proud of his newry roots." His funeral is expected to take place in Cambridge next month.

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