Mayor pays tribute to deceased Newry actor

September 2, 2013

On behalf of Newry and Mourne District Council, Mayor Michael Ruane paid tribute to Newry native, actor Gerard Murphy, who passed away last week following a protracted battle with cancer.

A cousin of the late Sean Hollywood, after whom the city’s Arts Centre is named, Mr Murphy was one of Northern Ireland’s most famous actors, starring on stage and screen

His stage and television work most notably included Glasgow Citizens Theatre and Z Cars, Doctor Who, Minder, Heartbeat, Father Ted and The Bill, which led to Hollywood roles.

Perhaps his best-known film roles were as “The Nord” in Waterworld and as the corrupt High Court Judge Faden in Batman Begins.

Though Gerard Murphy’s  work was based away from home, he was a frequent visitor and was generous with his time and encouraging of talent in Newry.  He spent time with the performing arts students at Southern Regional College recently, and, although a little star-struck, they benefited enormously from his advice and encouragement.

Mayor Michael Ruane said it was with deep regret, he heard of the passing of Gerard Murphy.

“He was truly a giant in acting circles, in stature, talent and personality.  I extend my deep sympathy to his family and loved ones.  I hope to be able to provide details at a later stage of how the Council will pay tribute to Gerard; his passing sees the loss of one of Newry’s most famous sons, and it will be fitting to mark his contribution in an appropriate manner.”

Requiem Mass for Gerard Murphy will be celebrated in Cambridge later this month.