Comedian Brendan Grace dies following short battle with lung cancer

Brendan Grace Father Ted

Comedian and Father Ted star Brendan Grace has died aged 68.

His family confirmed the news to RTE, and said they were "very grateful" for the support over the world from his fans.

Last week Grace cancelled his summer tour revealing he has been diagnosed with lung cancer and was being treated for pneumonia.

Fans were quick to pay tribute to the star, with one writing: "Terribly sad news about the passing of the great Brendan Grace, in the early hours of this morning".

Grace is also familiar to United Kingdom comedy fans thanks to a memorable guest appearance on Father Ted.

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He has suffered a number of health issues in recent years, having a stroke and contracting diabetes, which made it impossible for him to play guitar on stage.

A Dublin native, Brendan Grace began his career in entertainment as a singer, but later turned to comedy, becoming well-known for characters such as Bottler and the Father of the Bride.

His booking agent Tom Kelly told RTÉ Radio One: "Brendan Grace was one of the greatest entertainers of this era, no doubt about that".

As well as his comedy, he had several hit songs including Combine Harvester, which went on to be a hit for The Wurzels and The Dutchman.

Grace is survived by his wife Eileen, who he married in 1973, their four children and their grandchildren. "Rest peacefully Bottler you've earned it".

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