TRIBUTES HAVE been paid to Irish actor Pat Laffan who has died aged 79.
A beloved star of stage and screen, Laffan was best remembered for playing Pat Mustard on the hit Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted.
Laffan played smooth-talking milkman Pat Mustard on the Graham Linehan comedy series about a disorderly group of priests living on Craggy Island.
Despite only appearing in one episode of the show, the character garnered a cult following that includes a Facebook group with over 22,000 followers.
An established actor with some 40 films and 30 TV credits to his name, Laffan was also known for his portrayal of Mr Burgess in Roddy Doyle’s much-loved 1993 film The Snapper. A statement from his representative said: “It is with tremendous sadness that we here at the Lisa Richards Agency can confirm Pat Laffan’s passing today.
“Pat was one of the very first clients of the agency but much more than that, he was a close friend, a mentor and a hugely important supporter of the company’s founders Lisa and Richard Cook and for many of the staff of the agency who had the pleasure to represent and work with him over the last almost thirty years.”
It continued: “All here will remember him first and foremost as our friend and mentor and we will miss him terribly. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.” Laffan performing as a member of the Abbey Theatre Company in the 1960s and 1970s.
He went on to serve as director at the Peacock Theatre, and directed in the Gate Theatre between 1979 and 1982. His TV credits include the BBC soap EastEnders and RTE’s The Clinic. In the wake of his passing, fans, friends and colleagues were quick to pay tribute to “a gentle giant” of the acting world.
Linehan led the tributes.
Just heard the sad news that Pat Laffan who played Pat Mustard in Father Ted has died. Rest in peace, Pat, a pleasure to work with you. https://t.co/ej9ZnsPlv0
— Beloved Internet Personality (@Glinner) March 14, 2019
Laffan's popularity among colleagues past and present was clear to see.
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of the wonderful actor & equally wonderful man that was Pat Laffan. For those who had the privilege to know or work with him he will never be forgotten. For those who loved him for his iconic roles, he is forever immortalised #RIP 💛 pic.twitter.com/r3jWnhQbIz
— Spotlight Ireland (@spotlight_ie) March 15, 2019
Irish actor Pat Laffan has passed away. Over the years, Pat was an incredible force in the Irish theatre community and was no stranger to the Gate throughout his prolific career as an actor and director. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/f9LGqDWRt1
— Gate Theatre (@GateTheatreDub) March 14, 2019
Very sad to hear that Pat Laffan has passed away. His career at the Abbey started in 1961 and spanned five decades. He will be sorely missed. He is pictured (centre) in one of his earliest appearances here in The Enemy Within in 1962. pic.twitter.com/F1zOdtBK0E
— Abbey Theatre (@AbbeyTheatre) March 14, 2019
Deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend, collaborator, supporter, regaler of stories, reciter of poetry, font of knowledge, brilliant actor, Pat Laffan, who I've been lucky to know since 1997. He will be sorely missed. Rest in Peace Pat. pic.twitter.com/C2AAGcvhM0
— Deirdre Mulrooney (@DMulrooney) March 15, 2019
I was very lucky to work with Pat Laffan last year and he was such an intelligent, encouraging and talented man. Will never forget sitting by the fire with him as he quoted endless poems, plays and stories. My thoughts are with his friends and family. pic.twitter.com/K8yvTTljWT
— Aidan Crowe (@aidancrowe1) March 14, 2019
I’m devesated to hear of the passing of the amazing Pat Laffan. I was very fortunate to get to work with him over the years. He was one funny man under his hard exterior. A gentle giant. He left us with some incredible performances, most notably as Georgie Burgess. RIP my friend pic.twitter.com/FVnJlrpUy6
— Laurence Kinlan (@laurencekinlan) March 14, 2019
RIP Pat. I laughed for 2 days straight with this legend only this time last year on #abendintherivermovie He kindly informed me multiple times to move past his legendary Georgie Burgess days but I couldn’t which made him laugh even more #PatLaffan #thesnapper #irishtalent pic.twitter.com/JKMFgWUWap
— Julie Ryan (@julieryan99) March 15, 2019
Despite the sad loss, Laffan's legacy will live on thanks to Pat Mustard and plenty more iconic roles besides.
"I thought you were Marylin Monroe!"
Pat Laffan (aka Pat Mustard)
1940 - 2019
— Philip Walsh (@KlartextClon) March 15, 2019
Just seen that Pat Laffan, who played Pat Mustard in the episode “Speed 3” in Father Ted passed away. One of my favourite episodes of one of my favourite TV shows ever - I have all the episodes on DVD. The “I forgot me trousers” line still gets me every time!
RIP Pat Laffan.
— Football Chatters (@FootballChat555) March 15, 2019
Pat Laffan RIP pic.twitter.com/WPIkVXz1BF
— Selwyn Froggitt (@StirlingKincaid) March 15, 2019
Never worked with Pat Laffan but my ma met him when I was a young actor starting out. He tried being gruff by saying I’d never make it as I didn’t go to the Gaiety school. Later he gave her clippings of all my reviews. I got to lead the tribute to him last night at @AbbeyTheatre
— AidoKel (@aidokel) March 15, 2019
Sad to hear of the passing of Pat Laffan, though he is survived by a whole host of very hairy babies.
— James Paton (@TheBlackPage81) March 15, 2019
— Gareth Wright (@writtles83) March 15, 2019
R.I.P. Pat. Gone but never forgotten.