Beloved Stage and Screen Actor Sam Kelly Passes Away at 70
Sam Kelly was born in Manchester in 1943. Throughout his acting career, Kelly appeared in films, television, radio, and theatre. According to BBC News, Kelly passed away this morning after being admitted to a hospice. His agent, Lynda Ronan, confirmed his passing saying that he "bravely fought" against his illness and that he died peacefully. He was 70.
Ronan continued, "He does not leave any family but a host of friends who were his chosen family."
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And she's right. Numerous friends of Kelly have taken to Twitter to share a few words on his passing.
Actress Natalie Anderson, who starred alongside him in the West End's Wicked, tweeted, "Totally devastated to hear of the sad news of my friend and 'Wizard' Sam Kelly's passing!!! A truly wonderful and incredible gentleman!"
Robert Lindsay, currently in the West End's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, tweeted, "Feel so depressed about the amazing Sam Kelly's passing how do we manage a second comic musical tonight?we dedicate it to him RIP"
Since the early seventies, Sam Kelly has been one of the UK's best-loved and most popular actors. His many long-running television series have included Porridge; 'Allo, 'Allo; On The Up; and Barbara. His National Theatre appearances include The Homecoming, War and Peace, and A Funny Thing Happen On The Way To The Forum. He also played the Wizard in the West End's Wicked and appeared in a production of Jean Paul Sartre's Kean. On the film side, Kelly starred in Topsy-Turvy, Nanny McPhee Returns, All Or Nothing, and many many more.