Game of Thrones actor dies

Last updated 10:50 12/08/2014
Sydney Morning Herald

Belfast actor J.J. Murphy dies just days into filming his first scenes for the show's upcoming fifth season.

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Veteran actor JJ Murphy has collapsed and died just four days into filming his first scenes for the iconic HBO drama Game of Thrones.

He was 86.

Murphy, who also starred in the film Cal and the television drama Angela's Ashes, had been cast in the series as Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night's Watch.

In the Game of Thrones narrative, the Night's Watch is a military order which guards "the Wall", a fortification on the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms.

According to media reports, he was due to film more scenes in the coming months.

Murphy had not yet been seen on air; his character was to debut in the new season of the series, which is currently filming in Belfast, Ireland.

The show's producers, DB Weiss and David Benioff, have said the role will not be recast.

"We will not be recasting JJ Murphy," a statement from the pair said. "He was a lovely man, and the best Denys Mallister we could have hoped for. And now his watch is ended."

Murphy also filmed a role in the upcoming film Dracula Untold.

His agent, Philip Young, said he had "never encountered a man with more spirit, passion and love for his craft. At this time our thoughts are with his family."

Murphy's character in Game of Thrones, Mallister, was one of nine new characters joining the show for its fifth season.

They include Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell, the ruling lord of Dorne, Toby Sebastian as Trystane Martell, Prince Doran's son, Nell Tiger Free as Mycrella, the eldest child of Cersei Lannister, Keisha Castle-Hughes is Obara Sand, a "fearsome warrior", and Jonathan Pryce as the evangelical figure, the High Sparrow.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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