'The Commitments' actor Johnny Murphy, known for his role as Joey 'The Lips' Fagan, dies aged 72
Actor Johnny Murphy, best known for his role as trumpet player Joey 'The Lips' Fagan in The Commitments, has died according to reports.
Mr Murphy (72) died of respiratory failure in St James's hospital this morning after a short illness.
In a statement today, Johnny's family said: "It is with great sadness that the family of John Murphy announce his passing. He died of respiratory failure in St. James’s hospital early Tuesday morning, 23rd February, after a short illness."
"His career spanning over 50 years began in Focus Theatre with the late Deirdre O’Connell and lead to work at the Abbey and Gate theatres and stages around the world."
"He played Gogo in the world famous Gate production of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot but was probably more famous for his portrayal of trumpet player “Joey the Lips” in Alan Parker’s film The Commitments."
Tributes were paid to the legendary actor this morning on social media.
Actress Maria Doyle-Kennedy posted on her Twitter page: “Johnny Murphy. Gentleman” while Irish ‘Titanic’ actor Liam Tuohy said it was “so sad.”
“RIP Johnny Murphy. The Commitments’ ‘Joey the Lips’ lives forever in our hearts,” he said.
Echoing the comments, Oscar-winner Glen Hansard made his tribute to the “great Johnny Murphy.”
He said: “A beautiful man, and a true gent. Bless you Johnny.”
The great Johnny Murphy, (Joey the Lips Fagan) passed yesterday.. A beautiful man, and a true gent.Bless you Johnny pic.twitter.com/nIW418VEhx— Glen Hansard (@Glen_Hansard) February 23, 2016
Sorry to hear Irish actor Johnny Murphy has died. Remembered by most as 'Joey the Lips' in 'The Commitments'.....and by many as a gent. #RIP— john creedon (@johncreedon) February 23, 2016
RIP Johnny Murphy. He lit up our screens as Joey The Lips Fagan in The Commitments but he was a Gentleman first. pic.twitter.com/lCInvBfNL3— Laurence Kinlan (@laurencekinlan) February 23, 2016
Johnny Murphy#gentleman— Maria Doyle Kennedy (@mariadkennedy) February 23, 2016
One of the most popular characters in the hit movie The Commitments by Alan Parker, the director originally wanted either Van Morrison or Rory Gallagher for the role – but he went with Murphy in the end.
He saw him as a mentor to the much younger and inexperienced cast, which included Glen Hansard, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Andrew Strong and Angelina Ball.
A funeral will take place on Friday, the family have said.