Actress Rynagh O’Grady – who played shop owner Mary in legendary Irish sitcom Father Ted – has died aged 67.
The Abbey Theatre in Dublin broke the sad news.
After training at the theatre, Rynagh went on to star in the hit sitcom in the 1990s and became a much-loved presence in the show.
And, as well as Father Ted, Rynagh was also well respected within the theatre community as a director and writer.
We were deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of our beloved friend and colleague Rynagh O’Grady. We are thinking of her family and all who loved her. pic.twitter.com/KGd9dONIGA
— Abbey Theatre (@AbbeyTheatre) February 9, 2021
Father Ted star Rynagh O’Grady dead at 67
In a statement, the theatre said: “We were deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of our beloved friend and colleague Rynagh O’Grady.
“We are thinking of her family and all who loved her,” it added.
The statement went on to explain that Rynagh began her training with the theatre in 1969.
“Notable productions included Donal O’Kelly’s Mamie Sighs in 1990 and more recently in Deirdre Kinahan’s The Unmanageable Sisters,” it continued.
Subsequently, theatre director Graham McLaren said: “I’d sneak into the back row of the Abbey to watch her hush a hysterical audience with a look, then lead them through a speech full of heart, humanity and justice.’
“Irish theatre got a lot darker today.”
Who did Rynagh play in Father Ted?
Rynagh played the shopkeeper Mary O’Leary on Craggy Island.
Soon she became a beloved character thanks to her hilarious rows with husband John.
However, even though their arguments were often savage, the duo always tried to act like the perfect married couple to Father Ted.
No cause of death has yet been disclosed.
How did fans react to the sad news?
As the sad news was broken, fans took to Twitter to express their condolence.
“I’ll have a box of Crunchies today in her memory,” one said.
“RIP. Some great scenes in Father Ted with her and John. Right on the nose too!”
“Another wrote: “RIP very sad.”
Ahh no way, god rest her… John and Mary were very very funny in Father Ted.
A third commented: “Ahh no way, god rest her… John and Mary were very very funny in Father Ted.”
Finally, a fourth said: “Ah that’s very sad news.
“John and Mary definitely my favourite warring married TV couple of all time… ‘Get them feckin’ Crunchies out of the car!'”
Who else from Father Ted has passed away?
The sad news about Rynagh has understandably led fans to think about the rest of the cast of Father Ted.
And, unfortunately, Rynagh joins a list of beloved actors who are no longer with us.
The series’ lead, actor Dermot Morgan, died unexpectedly in 1998 from a heart attack, aged only 45.
Because this tragedy took place prior to filming the third series of Father Ted, it effectively ended the show.
Frank Kelly – who played angry priest Father Jack – died aged 77 in 2016.
And Brendan Grace – aka Father Fintan – also sadly passed away aged 68 in 2019.
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