Thursday 29 September 2016

'A shaky hand won't stop me': Frank Kelly (Father Ted star Jack) reveals he is living with Parkinson's

Published 13/10/2015 | 08:43

Dermot Morgan with his 'Father Ted' cast members Ardal
O'Hanlon, Frank Kelly and Pauline McLynn
Dermot Morgan with his 'Father Ted' cast members Ardal O'Hanlon, Frank Kelly and Pauline McLynn

Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, actor Frank Kelly is determined to keep acting.

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The 76-year-old vowed that he will not let the debilitating condition get the better of him.

Frank Kelly
Frank Kelly

"I've been working as an actor for over 50 years, and a shaky hand won't stop me. I remain open to offers for work on stage and screen. I'm quite available and my mobile is always on," the legendary actor promised.

"I'm not going to let Parkinson's beat me. I'm just not that kind of person," he insisted to the Irish Sun.

Kelly was previously diagnosed with bowel cancer, but received the all clear in 2011 after a five year battle with the disease.

The actor believes he may have been living with Parkinson's for up to twenty years before he realised what the condition was.

Frank Kelly as Fr Jack
Frank Kelly as Fr Jack

"I was shaving with my left hand with my right hand down by my side, which my daughter Fiona noticed was shaking," he revealed.
"That was a very long time ago. No one ever noticed that little shake in my hand, I just got on with it.

The actor, best known for his role as Father Jack Hackett in cult comedy Father Ted, suffered heart failure earlier this year.

"That's when they diagnosed the Parkinson's. It was my first diagnoses but I am quite confident that I have had this for years and years," he said.

Kelly then decided to put pen to paper and write his memoir, which is set to be released soon.

‘Father Ted’ actor Frank Kelly swims at the Forty Foot
‘Father Ted’ actor Frank Kelly swims at the Forty Foot

'The Next Gig' will recount his years spent as a sub-editor at the Irish Press, his family life as a father of seven, and an encounter when a real-life priest told him he did not appreciate his portrayal of boozy Fr Jack.

Complete Father Ted Box Set - All 4, anytime
Complete Father Ted Box Set - All 4, anytime
Dermot Morgan with his 'Father Ted' cast members Ardal
O'Hanlon, Frank Kelly and Pauline McLynn
Dermot Morgan with his 'Father Ted' cast members Ardal O'Hanlon, Frank Kelly and Pauline McLynn

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