Scottish actor Gerard Kelly dies aged 51
Actor Gerard Kelly has died at the age of 51 after suffering a brain aneurysm earlier this week.
Kelly died in intensive care on Thursday evening after collapsing at his home in London on Tuesday.
He came to fame in comedy City Lights and appeared in EastEnders and Brookside as well as other TV and film parts, most recently in Extras.
He also regularly starred in pantomime and was due to appear in The Rocky Horror Show in Glasgow next month.
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Gerard will be deeply missed by his friends and family and indeed his huge fan base across his beloved Scotland and further afield”
His family and closest friends were with him when he died at West Middlesex University Hospital. A spokesman said he had died peacefully after a sudden illness.
Kelly was born in Glasgow in 1959 and appeared in a string of television roles which included Juliet Bravo, Rab C Nesbitt, Scotch and Wry and Hamish Macbeth along with his villainous portrayal of Callum Finnegan in Brookside and hardman Jimmy in Eastenders.
Last year, he celebrated his 20th year in pantomime at Glasgow's Kings Theatre.
On the big screen, he played an angry priest in the Ken Loach film Ae Fond Kiss.
Kelly remains best known in Scotland for his starring role as hapless would-be author Willie Melvin in City Lights, but more recently he appeared in the Ricky Gervais comedy Extras as Bunny.
A statement issued by his family said: "Gerard will be deeply missed by his friends and family and indeed his huge fan base across his beloved Scotland and further afield.
"He was a private and gentle man and his family and friends would appreciate privacy during this sad and difficult time."
Comedian and actress Elaine C Smith said she "greatly admired" Kelly, who she had known for more than 25 years.
"He was a warm, kind, funny human being. We had lots of similar views on politics and the world," she said.
"One of my fondest memories is of me dressed as a fairy and Gerard as Wishy Washy as we stood discussing the situation in Palestine.
"We worked together on City Lights and in numerous pantos, and I remember being so impressed when I first saw him act in the award-winning drama Donal and Sally.
"Gerard starred in this drama about two teenagers with special needs falling in love and I knew then he had amazing talent.
"He will be sadly missed by so many people and my heart goes out to all his friends and family."
Actor and writer Andy Gray, who played Chancer in City Lights, said: "I was a friend and colleague of Gerard's for 30 years and we grew up in this business together.
"We were great friends and I will miss the fun we used to have. We shared great chats and many laughs over the years and I have lost someone who I greatly admired and respected.
"He will be very sadly missed."
A private service is to be held for family and closest friends and details of a memorial service are expected to be announced later.