He had barely shot first scenes of much talked about ‘Game of Thrones’ and Irish actor J.J Murphy died suddenly at the age of 86. The cause of death is not known yet, still we may say that it could be just a call of age and nothing else. The actor who worked for the HBO series as his last project has been a veteran actor for decades on Belfast stage.
Murphy was portraying Ser Denys Mallister in the fifth season of Game of Thrones and he was the oldest member of Night’s Watch military order. The scenes with him in the cast were filmed last week and now he is no more with us.
His sudden demise has certainly saddened lots of near and dear ones, but it has created a void on the famous HBO drama. It’s not yet sure whether his role would be recast or the story would be changed a bit without him being there anymore. There are lots of Irish actors in the film, as most of the part of the film is shot in Ireland.
Murphy is said to be a mentor to younger actors and The Arts Council of Northern Ireland praised his contributions towards acting and drama. The actors who have worked with him in Game of Thrones or other projects are surely going to miss him for all good reasons.
Hardly had he or the team of the series ever thought that this could be his last days of great work on something that he was good at and something that he had always enjoyed doing, ‘Acting’. Murphy was a great and acclaimed theatre actor who was also involved with famous projects like ‘Dracula Untold’ apart from Game of Thrones.
As per his agent Phillip Young, Murphy, the oldest member of the Night’s Watch in the fifth season was quite enthusiastic and delighted to play the role and he certainly had all the reasons to be so. But destiny had something else in store for him.
Murphy is said to be an active member of Equity, the British actors’ union and has devoted several decades working at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre. His death would certainly be a loss to many and concludes his long and fulfilling career.
He was not a stranger to book adaptations as his past contributions includes many renowned film versions like ‘Angela’s Ashes’ and ‘Dracula Untold’, the latter to be released in October 2014 that sees Murphy in the role of a village elder.
As it is said that the only thing permanent in the world is ‘End of a Life’, Murphy has lived a great life and that his journey into films and acting would surely be a source of inspiration to budding actors in times to come.
As for the Game of Thrones void that has been created due to his sudden depart, the makers would have to work out either the role, cast or the story altogether.
J.J. Murphy’s funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, August 13th, 2014.