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'We said David was toxic after monkey bit him and died' jokes actor's family


 David Kelly. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

David Kelly. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

David Kelly. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

MORE than a year since his death, the memory of iconic actor David Kelly lives on and there is plenty to keep his family laughing, including memories of a run-in with a monkey.

The Dubliner is best known for his role as the unfortunate Rashers Tierney in 1980s hit TV series Strumpet City.

The series was based on James Plunkett's novel of the same name, which traces life in early 1900s Dublin, including the 1913 Lockout.

The late actor's son and wife, Laurie Morton, have spoken about how David was constantly getting involved in scrapes, including conflict with an angry monkey.

"They had this monkey and it bit him one day," explained Laurie, who played the role of Mrs Hennessy in Strumpet City.



"He was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital to have the shots, the next day the monkey was dead." David never lived down the fact that he had somehow poisoned the monkey, said Laurie.

"He bit David and we used to say to David that he must be toxic and that the monkey was poisoned after it.

"I don't know what happened to that monkey, but I'll never forget it," she laughed.

And it wasn't the only animal that David experienced a run-in with during his time playing Rashers Tierney.

Rashers' dog in Strumpet City was played by three different animals because of his bad luck with the pooches. "Dad loved dogs, but for some reason he didn't get on with these dogs," said son David Jr.

"They used to snap at him and all kinds of things."

Kelly, who had a part in Fawlty Towers, died in February 2012 aged 82, after a short illness. The actor is survived by Laurie and their two children, David Jr and Miriam.

"He had Alzheimer's and you don't want anyone going on like that," explained Laurie. Son David Jr described how one of his best memories of his dad was his obsession with tea.

"He was obsessed with his tea. He was very specific about his tea – 99pc of the time it was Lyons green label leaf tea. He never had a tea bag in his life," he added.