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David Kelly

A familiar face to many for his countless appearances on the stage, television and big screen, Irish actor David Kelly trained at the acclaimed Abbey Theatre School in Dublin.

Recognized for his role in Kirk Jones' Waking Ned Devine, Kelly was nominated by both the Golden Satellite Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards for his outstanding performance as Michael O'Sullivan. The Screen Actors Guild also nominated Kelly and the cast members, Ian Bannen, Fionnula Flanagan, Susan Lynch and James Nesbitt for their outstanding performances.

Kelly's feature film credits include Alex De Rakoff's The Calcium Kid, Kevin Allen's Agent Cody Banks II, Peter Howitt's Laws of Attraction, David Blair's Mystics, Barry Skolnick's Mean Machine, Joel Hershman's Greenfingers, Ordinary Decent Criminal, Mike Newell's Into the West, Suri Krishnamma's A Man of No Importance, Peter Yates' The Run of the Country, Terence Young's The Jigsaw Man, Roman Polanski's Pirates and Aislung Walsh's Joyriders.

His most memorable television work includes the cult British TV comedies Fawlty Towers with John Cleese and Robin's Nest with Richard O'Sullivan. In addition to appearing in numerous dramas for the BBC and ITV, Kelly's other television drama series include Z Cars, Emmerdale, Heartbeat and Ballykissangel.

Theatre highlights over his long career include the world premiere of Brendan Behan's The Quare Fella; Samuel Beckett's one-man piece Krapp's Last Tape, in New York's Lincoln Centre as well as in Chicago and Melbourne, Australia; the world premiere of Behan's Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop production of Waiting for Godot; the Hal Prince production of They Might Be Giants and The Crucible.

During the 1960s, Kelly toured in GB Shaw's Candida and Mrs. Warren's Profession in Stockholm, Amsterdam and Oslo. He appeared in the Paris and Zurich productions of James Joyce's Stephen D and W.B. Yeats' The Countless Cathleen. He also worked with Robert Ryan in John Neville's company at the Nottingham Playhouse.

Recent theatre work includes the Gate Theatre U.S. Tour of Krapp's Last Tape; the American tour of Playboy of the Western World, which earned him a Helen Hayes Award nomination; Moon for the Misbegotten in Buffalo, New York; Ghosts in Huntington, Long Island; Tartuffe and Sunshine Boys at the Gate Theatre, Dublin; and The Crucible at the Abbey Theatre.

In 2003 the Irish Times awarded Kelly a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the Irish Theatre.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

David Kelly Facts

BirthdayJuly 11, 1929
BirthplaceDublin, Ireland
Date of deathFebruary 12, 2012 (Dublin, Ireland, age 82)
Height5' 10" (1m78)  How tall is David Kelly compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Not available.