Tributes have been paid to actor Milo O'Shea, who has died after a short illness. He was 86.

Minister for Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan said he would be remembered for the quality of his performances in a range of challenging and often ground-breaking roles.

Michael Colgan, the Director of the Gate Theatre, said O'Shea had one of the most varied careers in acting and was singled out by his versatility.

He said O'Shea had played all the major roles in the Abbey's classical repertoire, appeared in many films and television situation comedies and was an award-winning actor on Broadway.

A Dubliner, O'Shea began his acting career in The Gate and The Gaiety theatres.

He became popular in the UK after starring in the BBC sitcom 'Me Mammy' in the 1960s.

He appeared in numerous films, notably 'Romeo and Juliet' and an adaptation of James Joyce's novel 'Ulysses', in which he played Leopold Bloom.

He also portrayed a mad scientist in Roger Vadim's movie, Barbarella.

He appeared with Paul Newman in the film adaptation of Barry Read's novel, 'The Verdict', and in 'The Butcher Boy' based on Patrick McCabe's novel directed by Neil Jordan.

He had lived in New York since the 1970s.

He is survived by his wife, actress Kitty Sullivan, two sons, Colm and Steven, daughter-in-law Deirdre and three grandchildren.