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Ballykissangel co-star Niall Toibin: Tony was equally convincing as an IRA man and an RUC chief
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Friday, 28 January, 2000, 13:32 GMT
Ballykissangel star Doyle dies

Tony Doyle (right) as Brian Quigley in Ballykissangel

Actor and star of the hit TV series Ballykissangel, Tony Doyle, has died suddenly.

The award-winning actor played the part of likeable rogue Brian Quigley in the BBC Northern Ireland drama.

He is reported to have died early on Friday morning at St Thomas' Hospital near his home in London.

Tony Doyle, who was in his 50s, is survived by his wife Sally, and six children, three of whom are from a previous marriage.

The renowned character actor had been enjoying a run of success with acclaimed roles in the BBC's award winning drama, Amongst Women, and the Irish hit film, I Went Down.

He was also due to start filming a new BBC detective series, McCready and Daughter, in which he was to co-star with former EastEnders actress Patsy Palmer.

'Natural authority'

Tributes to the actor were led by the controller of BBC Northern Ireland, Pat Loughrey, who expressed his condolences to Mr Doyle's family and friends.

It is an awful irony that he should die when his career was so strong and when he was about to embark on so many new ventures
BBC Northern Ireland head of drama, Robert Cooper
"Tony Doyle's professionalism and warmth of character were the driving forces behind some of BBC Northern Ireland's greatest successes," he said.

"To say that he will be sorely missed is to seriously understate our sense of loss."

BBC One controller Peter Salmon also paid tribute to the actor who, he said, would be a great loss.

"Tony Doyle was one of the brightest stars of Ballykissangel. The cast, crew and the millions of Ballyk fans - who took him firmly to their hearts - have lost a dear and charming friend.

The head of drama at BBC Northern Ireland, Robert Cooper, said Tony Doyle's acting talent came from his qualities as a man which included natural authority, warmth, good humour and intelligence.

"It is an awful irony that he should die when his career was so strong and when he was about to embark on so many new ventures," he added.

Mr Doyle's death is the second high-profile bereavement to hit the cast of the popular series.

Birdy Sweeney, who played hill-farmer Eamon Byrne, died last May during filming of the fourth series.

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See also:
28 Jan 00 |  Northern Ireland
Tony Doyle: One of Ireland's finest
14 May 99 |  Entertainment
Ballykissangel star mourned

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