Irish comedian Brendan Grace (68) cancels Irish tour following cancer diagnosis
Irish comedian Brendan Grace has been diagnosed with cancer aged 68.
Mr Grace had been in hospital receiving treatment for pneumonia, according to a spokesperson, when he learned of the shock diagnosis.
He has been in hospital for the last month.
"Brendan Grace has been in hospital for the last four weeks receiving treatment for pneumonia," the spokesperson told independent.ie.
"It has now transpired that he is also suffering from cancer for which he is receiving ongoing care and treatment.
"His family are a great support to him at this difficult time and respect for their privacy would be much appreciated.
"His current July/August Irish Tour has been cancelled."
Brendan, who is based in America with his wife Eileen and their family, regularly returns to Ireland for shows.
Today, actress and friend June Rogers said her thoughts are with Brendan.
"I was so shocked when I found out, he’s such a lovely man," she told Independent.ie.
"I’m so fond of him."
"I only found out last night, and the person who told me had just heard it and didn’t know anything else about it," she said.
"He’s such a genuine person, he never had a bad word to say about anybody."
This is the latest bout of devastating news for the beloved comedian, who suffered a stroke and has been diagnosed with diabetes in the last couple of years.
"Of course, I send well wishes - I didn’t know if I should text his phone or not as I don’t know what to do in these situations, it can be quite difficult as I don’t want to disturb the family," Ms Rogers explained.
"My thoughts are with him, he’s absolutely an Irish treasure and he’s been very kind to me."
"He’s a wonderful man," she added.
In the entertainment industry for 49 years, the comedian is best known for his role in Father Ted, in which he played Fr Stack.
He was born in the Liberties in Ireland, and last year a documentary, featuring tributes from friends and admirers including Brendan O'Carroll, Jason Byrne and Michael Flatley, followed Grace on the road throughout Ireland, spending time with him at home and in America as he visited family and friends.
He spoke to the RTE Guide last year before the release of the documentary
"I had a stroke and I also had an accident that screwed up my gait," he said. "I now had to deliver the comedy from a seated position, only occasionally getting up from the chair. My fear was always that people would think ‘this guy had had a few bevvies’, so what I did was, I made a virtue of my leg problem and built it into the act."
Brendan also described his wife Eileen as his "rock" through everything.
"She really is the wind beneath my wings. I'd be nothing without her."