Brendan Grace has sadly passed away at the age of 68.
Last night, reports of his death started spreading on Twitter, but his passing wasn’t confirmed by RTÉ News until this morning.
The news will come as a shock to fans, as his lung cancer diagnosis was only reported by media outlets last week.
Brendan had a remarkable career as a comedian and entertainer that spanned five decades.
In October 2018, to mark Brendan’s 50 years in the entertainment business, RTÉ screened the documentary, Brendan Grace – Funny Man, which was directed by Brian Reddin and looked back over the brilliant career of Ireland’s favourite funny man.
Shot on location throughout Ireland the UK and Boston and featuring interviews with a who’s who of the Irish entertainment business, this documentary offered a revealing and often hilarious portrait of a performer beloved by everybody.
The documentary will be repeated at 10.15pm on RTÉ One tonight.
Commenting on his passing, RTÉ Director-General, Dee Forbes, said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Brendan Grace. Brendan was one of Ireland’s original funny men, and one of Irish comedy’s true pioneers.”
“While there are now many Irish comedians who are household names, Brendan emerged as a talent during an era when there were very few established Irish comedians. Through his live shows, his live recordings, The Brendan Grace Show and many memorable guest appearances on RTÉ’s The Late Late Show, Brendan established himself in the hearts of generations of fans, not just in Ireland, but all over the world”
“Importantly, he also paved the way for many of the wonderful comedians this country has produced over the last twenty years or so and leaves behind a legacy he and his family can be proud of. He will be deeply missed. My thoughts and those of his many friends and fans across RTÉ are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
After the news of his death was confirmed, fans and friends of Brendan took to Twitter to pay tribute to him:
— Natalie O’Regan (@NatalieORegan1) July 11, 2019
Deeply saddened this morning to hear that Brendan Grace has passed away A true legend of comedy and all round nice guy He will be deeply missed across the whole of Ireland and many parts of the world where he made his mark. RIP Brendan pic.twitter.com/23wkdUeYxC
— David Baker (@davidbakerdj) July 11, 2019
BRENDAN GRACE DIES – Saddened to hear of the passing of good friend of the show Brendan Grace. He last popped in to see us just a few short months ago. Our thoughts are with his wife Eileen, his family and friends. RIP friend. #NPRedFM pic.twitter.com/NDQ5CQMmfH
— Neil Prendeville (@NeilRedFM) July 11, 2019
— Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (@AodhanORiordain) July 11, 2019
Sad to hear of the passing of Brendan Grace
A larger than life character who brought smiles to many faces as an outstanding entertainer. Rest peacefully Bottler pic.twitter.com/2XP0IpwFXR
— Des Cahill (@CllrDesCahil) July 11, 2019
RIP Brendan Grace! pic.twitter.com/GaYAHN905Y
— Boona (@BoonaBlueEyes) July 10, 2019
So sad at the passing of a great comedy legend, husband and father #brendangrace He opened doors for so many of us and leaves a legacy of love and laughter that will echo through this land and we will all mourn his passing. Rest peacefully Bottler you’ve earned it.
— Brendan O’Carroll (@brendanMrsBrown) July 10, 2019