Republic of Ireland news

Commitments actor Johnny Murphy has died

Johnny Murphy, pictured second left in the back row, with the cast of The Commitments.
John Monaghan

TRIBUTES have been paid to Johnny Murphy, the actor who featured in Angela's Ashes and The Commitments.

The actor is understood to have died yesterday. In 2011 it was reported that he was to miss a reunion tour of the cast of The Commitments as he was receiving treatment for cancer.

Murphy, who was aged in his seventies, was best known for his role as trumpet player Joey 'The Lips' Fagan in The Commitments, which won the 1991 BAFTA award for best film.

The film took its inspiration from a novel based in Dublin and written by author Roddy Doyle.

Glen Hansard, who starred alongside Murphy in The Commitments, led the tributes: "The great Johnny Murphy, (Joey the Lips Fagan) passed yesterday.. A beautiful man, and a true gent. Bless you Johnny."

Their co-star, Maria Doyle Kennedy, wrote: "Johnny Murphy. Gentleman."

One of the most popular characters in the hit movie by Alan Parker, the director originally wanted either Van Morrison or Rory Gallagher for the role – but went with Murphy in the end.

He saw him as a mentor to the much younger and inexperienced cast, which included Andrew Strong and Angelina Ball.

In addition to his role in the Commitments, Murphy also starred in Into The West, Waiting for Godot and Angela's Ashes.

Irish Titanic actor Liam Tuohy tweeted that the news was "so sad."

Watch Johnny Murphy as Joey the Lips in the 1991 film The Commitments

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