Frank Kelly

Biography: Frank Kelly, married to Baibre Neldon (1964-present), has featured prominately in many of the performing arts, including Radio, TV, theatre, music, writing and films. He has had a tremendous impact on Irish theatre but he is most well known for playing Father Jack Hackett on the hit Irish comed 'Father Ted'

Frank Kelly believes that he causght his acting bug after viewing a cartoon about a clown in the Dublin Opinion. The things that the Clown was facing on stage gave him hope as his view of acting turned into one of being able to pull through in adversity. Frank's father, Charlie was head of Radio Eirnann. This was after a lot of hard work in which he had to rise through the ranks of society after he started out as a simple civil servant. He also started the Dublin Opinion a very popular satirical magazine at the time. Although Franks father wanted him to become a concert Pianist, Frank still persevered to become an actor. Frank went to school at Blackrock College
Frank Kelly, married to Baibre Neldon (1964-present), has featured prominately in many of the performing arts, including Radio, TV, theatre, music, writing and films. He has had a tremendous impact on Irish theatre but he is most well known for playing Father Jack Hackett on the hit Irish comed 'Father Ted'

Frank Kelly believes that he causght his acting bug after viewing a cartoon about a clown in the Dublin Opinion. The things that the Clown was facing on stage gave him hope as his view of acting turned into one of being able to pull through in adversity.

Frank's father, Charlie was head of Radio Eirnann. This was after a lot of hard work in which he had to rise through the ranks of society after he started out as a simple civil servant. He also started the Dublin Opinion a very popular satirical magazine at the time. Although Franks father wanted him to become a concert Pianist, Frank still persevered to become an actor.
Frank went to school at Blackrock College and he began to develop a knack for satire. For 2 years he was part of the Dramsoc leading to some full time work. He studied law at university because he realised that acting alone would not provide adiquate income for himself so he initially did not persue it as a full time career option.
After graduating, he took up a job as sub-editor in the Irish press then moved to the 'Irish Independant' but his disire for acting was too great so he left that job to continue persuing his acting dream. He married in 1964 and his wafe was a key player in his decision to persue acting.
She encouraged him to take an offer from the Eblana theatre when it came along even though it involved a significant drop in salary. He feared that he would be consumed with regret if he didn't give acting a shot. In order to get through the hard times that acting can bring, he held a positive outlook and a great attitude towards acting.
Between 1968 and 1982 Frank starred in popular RTE children's programme Wanderly Wagon with Eugene Lambert and Nora O'Mahoney. This show now enjoys cult status with the many children who grew up watching it.Kelly played a number of different characters and wrote many of the scripts, often to keep himself in work. He had to get income for seven children and to pay off his mortgage.
It was Kelly's work on 'Pictorial Weekly' which led to him being head-hunted for the role of Father Jack Hackett.This show was a huge success in the late 1970s. It was anchored by Frank Hall and set in the office of a mythical small newspaper, combined a mixture of social and political satirical sketches with bizarre rural news items. Kelly provided many of its greatest moments and characterisation.
Frank Kelly's acting career could have taken a very different course. He had a small cameo in the 1960s classic 'The Italian Job'.He had a bit part as a gaoler who let Caine's character out of his cell and he has described how Caine implored the director to give Kelly more lines but did not suceed.

In 1999 he starred alongside Ewan McGregor as John Stanislaus Joyce in Nora. He also managed to have a number one hit single Comedy Countdown in 1984 in Australia. This single also charted three times in Britain and Kelly even performed it on the 21st anniversary of Top of the Pops. The queen was so impressed by it, she wrote a fan letter to him, but he was too shy to reply. Kelly's stage carrer was very successful abd included roles in many plays such as Blinded by Light, The Seventh Sin and The Streets of Dublin.

A major turning point for Frank Kelly was the role of Father Jack Hackett in the Irish show "Father Ted" in 1995. Playing the alcoholic, girl obsessed, blasphemous priest, with a vocabulary that was limited to four words, catapulted Kelly and his co-stars to international fame. The show, which ran from 1995 to 1998 received numerous awards and broke the mould in a number of different ways. It soon began to earn rave reviews.

He has also begun writing memoirs. He is planning on making a play called 'Whole Fish'. He has never thought about retirement, he always hopes that he will keep getting jobs, just like he had to when he was younger and had to get them for income. He is a family man and states the maintenance of an affectionate and close relationship with his children as one of his greatest achievements.

Frank Kelly claims that he wouldn't change anything about his career because he doesn't believe in looking back, only forward. "I've always been a very positive person, there's only the next gig…because when you're an actor, there's only the next gig and when you're dying there's only the next gig…. if there's another life."
Expand

Frank Kelly's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average career score: 51
Highest Metascore: 55 Evelyn
Lowest Metascore: 49 Turning Green
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
3 movie reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
49 Turning Green Nov 6, 2009 Cast 6.7
51 Cowboys & Angels Sep 17, 2004 Jerry 7.7
55 Evelyn Dec 13, 2002 Henry Doyle 6.6
tbd Rat Apr 27, 2001 Uncle Matt tbd