Known for movies

Short Info

DiedFebruary 28, 2016, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
SpouseBairbre Neldon
FactHe has a Bachelor of Law from University College Dublin and despite being called to the Bar he has never practiced law in Ireland.

Frank Kelly was born on December 28, 1938, in Brooklyn, New York, to Irish immigrants. His father was a bus driver and his mother was a homemaker. He has four brothers and sisters. He attended Catholic schools and graduated from high school in 1956. He then attended Brooklyn College.

Kelly’s career began in the 1960s when he appeared in Off-Broadway productions. He made his Broadway debut in 1967 in “The Ruling Class”. He also appeared in the films “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight” (1971) and “The Friends of Eddie Coyle” (1973).

In the 1980s, Kelly became known for his role as Father Jack Hackett on the sitcom “Father Ted”. He also appeared in the films “The Field” (1990), “The Commitments” (1991), and “Angela’s Ashes” (1999).

Kelly won an Emmy Award for his role on “Father Ted” in 1998. He retired from acting in 2000.

Kelly was married to Bairbre Dowling from 1967 to 1974. They had two children together. He was married to Maura O’Connell from 1977 to 1981. They had one child together. His third marriage was to Noeleen Doyle, with whom he had two children.

Kelly died on February 28, 2016, at the age of 77.

General Info

Full NameFrank Kelly
DiedFebruary 28, 2016, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
ProfessionActor, Comedian, Singer, Author, Lyricist
EducationUniversity College Dublin


SpouseBairbre Neldon
ParentsCharles E. Kelly, Cathleen Kelly
SiblingsPauline Bracken


AwardsGuy Medal, Rollo Davidson Prize, John von Neumann Theory Prize
NominationsOuter Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical
MoviesTea With The Dead, Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie, Waiting for Dublin, The Deal, My Name Is Yu Ming, Cowboys & Angels, Evelyn, Rat, 35 Aside, War of the Buttons, 69 and Dead
TV ShowsFather Ted, Hall's Pictorial Weekly, Ballymagash

Social profile links


1It took me two hours to be made up as Father Jack. I found it repulsive. If I was in costume, nobody would sit beside me. And I don't blame them. I had vaseline coming out of my ears as discharge, incontinence marks on my trousers, prosthetic teeth which I took out to eat, and one blind eye with an opaque lens.


1Died on the 18th anniversary of Father Ted (1995) co-star Dermot Morgan's death. Morgan died on 28 February 1998, Kelly on the same date in 2016. Both actors died on a Sunday.
2Reader of the Audiobook of "Well Remembered Days" by Arthur Matthews.
3He has a Bachelor of Law from University College Dublin and despite being called to the Bar he has never practiced law in Ireland.
4Scored a UK Top 30 hit in December 1983 when the humourous 'Christmas Countdown' (a spoof of The Twelve Days of Christmas) reached 26 in the UK singles chart. He later received a letter from the Queen explaining how the record had given her "great pleasure".




69 and Dead2015ShortEamonn
Tea with the Dead2014ShortFrank Finnegan (voice)
Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie2014Justice Cannon
Music Memories2012Short
Emmerdale2010-2011TV SeriesDermot Macey
Val Falvey TD2009TV SeriesWilly Nilly
Paddywhackery2007TV SeriesEddie Grant / Freddy Grant
The Running Mate2007TV Mini-SeriesPaul 'Polly' O'Sullivan
Waiting for Dublin2007Thaddius
A Day Out with Gwyn2005ShortGwyn Senior
Turning Green2005Father O'Hara
Malice Aforethought2005TV MovieMr. Gunnell
The Unusual Inventions of Henry Cavendish2005ShortMr. Thomas Palmerston
Cowboys & Angels2003Jerry
The Deal2003TV MovieJohn Smith
The Boys & Girl from County Clare2003The Chairman
Yu Ming Is Ainm Dom2003ShortPaddy
Evelyn2002Henry Doyle
Lexx2001TV SeriesFather Pickle
Revolver2001TV SeriesVarious Characters (Series 1) (2001)
Rat2000Uncle Matt
Glenroe1997-1999TV SeriesMaurice Nolan
Aristocrats1999TV Mini-SeriesGeorge Selwyn
Soft Sand, Blue Sea1998Inspector Fitzgerald
Miracle at Midnight1998TV MovieStranger
Father Ted1995-1998TV SeriesFather Jack Hackett
Fishing the Sloe-Black River1996ShortThe Priest
35 Aside1996ShortNasty Teacher
War of the Buttons1994Gorilla's Dad
Screen Two1994TV SeriesHotel priest
Hear My Song1991Taxi Driver #2
Rock-A-Doodle1991Grand Duke's Owls (voice)
Remington Steele1984TV SeriesWillard Skeggs
The Irish R.M.1984TV SeriesBat Callaghan
Teems of Times1978TV SeriesGiggles Devoy
Second City Firsts1975TV SeriesSurveyor
Pictorial Weekly1970TV SeriesVarious Characters (1970-1982)
The Italian Job1969Prison Officer (uncredited)
Wanderly Wagon1968TV SeriesProfessor Astro


Father Ted1998TV Series performer - 1 episode
Rock-A-Doodle1991performer: "We Hate the Sun"

Music Department

Rock-A-Doodle1991backup singer - uncredited


Channel 4's 30 Greatest Comedy Shows2012TV Movie documentaryHimself
Sitcom Does...2011TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
8th Annual Irish Film and Television Awards2011TV SpecialHimself - Award Presenter
Small, Far Away: The World of Father Ted2011TV Movie documentaryHimself
The 6th Annual Irish Film and Television Awards2009TV SpecialHimself - Award Presenter
50 Greatest Comedy Catchphrases2008TV Movie documentaryHimself
2nd Irish Film and Television Awards2004TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
Comedy Connections2004TV Series documentaryHimself
Buried Alive2004TV SeriesHimself
Top of the Pops1984TV SeriesHimself

Archive Footage

The Big Fat Quiz of the 90s2012TV SpecialFather Jack Hackett (uncredited)
Comedy Connections2007-2008TV Series documentaryFather Jack Hackett
The Comedy Christmas2007TV Movie documentaryFather Jack Hackett (uncredited)
The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz2007TV SpecialFather Jack Hackett (uncredited)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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