Irish actor Tom Jordan, who played Charlie Kelly in Fair City, has died.

Jordan, who was in his 80s, had been in the drama since it began in 1989. 

Born in Dublin, Jordan grew up in Marino on the city's north side. He then raised his family in Beaumont before moving with his wife Julie to Co Roscommon in recent years.

Jordan became a household name through his work on Fair City, starting out a long career as Charlie Kelly at the show's inception three decades ago.

Joan Brosnan Walsh as Mags Kelly and Tom Jordan as Charlie Kelly

Fair City executive producer, Brigie de Courcy, paid tribute to the late actor hailing him as "the heart of Fair City."

"This is devastating news," de Courcy said in a statement. "Tom Jordan was the heart of Fair City. He played Charlie Kelly from the very first episode and was a huge part of our plans for the future.

"A consummate actor, and a strong advocate for his colleagues across the industry, he will remain a legend for the viewers and for everyone who had the privilege of working with him. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time."

Jim Bartley as Bella Doyle and Tom Jordan in Fair City

Jim Bartley, who plays Bela Doyle in the programme, said his thoughts are with Tom's wife and family.

"I've known Tom for 40 years, and he was a big part of my life. Myself and Tom shared a dressing room in Fair City for nearly 30 of those years, since 1990 and they were a great 30 years.

"We'd discuss everything from the meaning of life to the profession we work in together over a pint, and he was one of the best friends I've had in the business. I'm going to miss him, and his Fair City family will miss him. He was such a steady part of the show, and he gave Charlie such credibility and life."

Recalling his audition for Fair City, Jordan previously admitted that he didn't expect it to become such a big part for him.

"I went along to the audition thinking it was going to be a waste of time, another one of these bloody things going nowhere," he told The Irish Mirror.

"There had been so many of these things where you do a pilot and then it's scrapped. Anyway, I was called back and to my surprise they offered me the part of Charlie Kelly.

"I still didn't think it was going to last any length of time, but then when the pilot went out, it received tremendous notices, people were talking about how funny, how fast it was, and it became a great success."

Before his work on the long-running soap, Jordan was a member of the RTÉ Players from 1968 – 1972. He was a founding member of the Project Arts Centre, was Actor Manager with World Theatre Productions for 12 years and was also Artistic Director of the Lyric Theatre, Belfast 1987/88.


Tributes paid to late Fair City actor Tom Jordan


Some of Tom's television and film roles include Farrell in Strumpet City, Seamus Doherty in The Manions, the father in Outcasts, the I.R.A Commandant in Lost Belongings, the psychiatrist in Remmington Steele, Mr Gillhooly in The Watchers, Jimmy Cagney in Inside, the demolition expert in Cry of the Innocent, The Field for Jim Sheridan, Gerry Glynn in Strange But True for London Weekend Television, Moll Flanders and most recently Paddy in The Anarchic Hand Affair.