Tributes have poured in after it was confirmed that Irish actor Tom Hickey had died in his 70s. The actor had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2013.
It is with great sadness that Sabina and I learned of the death of Tom Hickey,
The Irish acting icon boasted a career spanning more than six decades, taking lead roles in films such as Breakfast on Pluto, Fools of Fortune and Inside I’m Dancing.
Paying tribute, President Higgins said: “It is with great sadness that Sabina and I learned of the death of Tom Hickey, one of the greatest actors of his generation, giving over six decades to his profession.
“He leaves an indelible imprint on Irish theatre.
“He will be so missed. It was a privilege to know him as a friend.”
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It has been confirmed that actor Tom Hickey has died.
The Gate Theatre, Dublin have paid tribute to Tom following his death
He was also known for starring in Sky Comedy’s Moone Boy as Grandad Joe, alongside Chris O’Dowd, who also created the show.
Taking to Twitter, Chris said: “We were lucky enough to have Tom Hickey join us on Moone Boy and he was wonderful, as always.
“Very few are capable of such divelment and empathy in a single look. Rest well Tom, thanks for sharing your talents with us all.”(sic)
Tom had a career spanning over six deacades
Moone Boy co-star Chris O’Dowd said he was “lucky” to have Tom on the programme
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Following his death, social media was flooded with tributes from fellow actors, with Mark O’Halloran, writer of Adam & Paul, also paying tribute to Hickey, saying: “Tom Hickey . What a loss. An extraordinary theatre artist.
“I had the joy of being in a play with him once and sharing a dressing room. Such fun. Brilliant film actor too.
“In Loach’s Raining Stones he was brilliant. And his role in Garage. It was an honour to write for him. RIP.”
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Marion O’Dwyer added: “Tom Hickey. He was my Dad once, my husband at least twice; so many plays elevated by his presence. The artist and the man; fine and noble and far too funny.
“His work for Parkinson’s. All he was and did. Impossible to pay tribute properly; lucky to know you, Tom. Rest easy.”
Olwen Fouere went on to say: “Farewell, dear Tom.
“Thank you for so many great times working together. R.I.P. Tom Hickey.”
In a statement shared by The Arts Council of Ireland, a spokesperson said: “His extraordinary range of work has left a lasting impression on people from several generations.
“Across his career, he was responsible for bringing defining new work to the stage.”
He was also renowned for a wide range of performances on the large and small screen.
“His last appearance on stage was in a memorable performance of Beckett’s poems, directed by Alan Gilsenan. We send our condolences to his family and friends and to all who grieve for him.”
Tom had been a founding member of the Dublin Focus Theatre group – with the organisation saying: “Among his colleagues in the acting community, he was regarded as an artist of total commitment to performance, to his art and to his community.”
Tom was perhaps best known for his portrayal of Benjy Riordan in the long-running RTE One drama, The Riordans, for 16 years.
The actor who was born in Kildare, Ireland in 1944 boasted a successful stage career, appearing in productions such as The Night of the Iguana, Uncle Vanya, Miss Julie and Antigone.
He had started his career back in 1963 at Deirdre O’Connell’s Stanislavski Studio in Dublin, training in Stanislavski’s style of acting, adding that he saw the entertainment industry as a “vocation” after deciding at just the age of five that he wanted to become an actor.
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