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Tributes paid to 'Godfather' actor

THE Irish film and theatre actor Donal Donnelly -- famed for his role in 'The Dead' -- has died, writes Jason O'Brien.

Mr Donnelly (78) had been ill for some time. He died in the American city of Chicago, where he was based, earlier this week.

Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Martin Cullen yesterday paid tribute to Mr Donnelly, describing him as a "great ambassador" for Ireland.

"He received great praise for his work in the United States and in many ways was one of the first of the Irish success stories which today we continue to enjoy in the world of international film," he said.

Born in Bradford, northern England, to Irish parents, his family moved to Dublin when he was small and he was raised in Rathgar on the southside.

Mr Donnelly went on to carve out a successful career on the stage in Dublin, London and the US.

He also starred in several major films, including Francis Ford Coppola's 'The Godfather: Part III', and was famed for his role as Freddy Malins in John Huston's film version of Joyce's short story 'The Dead'.

Mr Cullen also extended his sympathies to Mr Donnelly's wife Patsy and his two sons, Damian and Jonathan.

Irish Independent