Monday, February 13, 2012

David Kelly 1929-2012

“Wouldn’t it be something, Charlie, to open a bar of candy and find a Golden Ticket inside?”

Stage and screen actor David Kelly has passed away at the age of 82. The Dublin-born talent was widely known by American audiences as Grandpa Joe Bucket in Tim Burton’s film adaptation of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (2005).

Kelly earned a Screen Actors’ Guild nomination for his role in WAKING NED (1998), and was well known in his native Ireland for the historical drama mini-series STRUMPET CITY (1980), which co-starred Peter O’ Toole and Peter Ustinov. He received a lifetime achievement award at the 2005 Irish Film and Television Awards.

Other notable film roles for Kelly included Roman Polanski’s PIRATES (1986), and STARDUST (2007).


Preferring the magic of STARDUST over the empty calories of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, this Blogger will always remember Kelly as the Guard in the former; a memorable and comedic role in which he played a weak and frail old watchman who could whip your ass with his big stick in a flash. His Grandpa Joe in CHARLIE also deserves recognition; It was a charming, funny and grounding performance that only he could have pulled off, and it added heart to the film.

Whatever he is doing now, he is sure to be doing a fine job of it.

“I’m charged with guarding the portal to another world, and you’re asking me to just let you through!”

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