Veteran Irish comedian Brendan Grace has passed away aged 68, his representative has confirmed.
The legendary comedian announced earlier in July that he was cancelling a number of tour dates in July and August in order to receive medical help.
Grace was initially hospitalised with pneumonia but later a diagnosis of lung cancer was made.
The comic had began his career in the 1960s as a musician, and went on to bring in huge audiences for his stand-up gigs across the nation. He also achieved widespread TV success.
Routines such as 'Father of the Bride', 'Bottler' and 'Chinese Takeaway' built a loyal fan-base for his shows and one-off specials which garnered high ratings.
Consistently high ratings resulted in TV3 commissioning an animated special based on his iconic schoolboy character 'Bottler'.
Grace brought in a whole new generation of fans in the 1990s after appearing in the Father Ted series as priest Fr Fintan Stack.
His number one hit Combine Harvester was later covered by The Wurzels in the UK, and he also toured with Frank Sinatra and John Denver.
He usually closed his stand-up shows with a humorous song, keeping music close to his heart at all times. While he lived in Florida for many years, he'd often return to Ireland to perform.
Tom Kelly, Grace's booking agent of nearly 30 years, spoke to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland and referred to the comedian as "one of the greatest entertainers of this era";
“You could see at every show how people just warmed to him.On nights when the audience might not have been very warm – that very seldom happened – he could turn around, pick up his guitar and sing a song with great authority," Kelly said.
“All in all, we can look back with pride at Brendan’s lifetime. Great family man, very close to his family. Just adored by his fans all over the country and indeed abroad as well. His popularity spread right around the world.”
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