'He was the heart of Fair City' – Irish soap legend Tom Jordan dies aged 82

Tributes have poured in for Fair City legend Tom Jordan, who died at the age of 82.

The veteran actor was the joint-longest serving cast member, playing Charlie Kelly since the soap’s beginnings in 1989.  Only Tony Tormey, who has played Paul Brennan, has also been involved since the very beginning.

The Dublin man was born in Marino but lived in Beaumont with his wife and six children for 50 years, before moving to Roscommon in 2015.

RTÉ announced his death on Saturday.

Jim Bartley, who plays Bela Doyle in the soap, remembered Jordan, who he said was one of his best friends.

“I’ve known Tom for 40 years, and he was a big part of my life” he said.

“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. My thoughts are with his wife and family.”

Brigie de Courcy, Executive Producer of Fair City also paid tribute to “the heart of Fair City”.

“This is devastating news. 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.”

Ian Kenny, who formerly played Tom’s character’s grandson, said in a statement on twitter that Jordan was, “nothing but kind, patient and brilliant.”

“I began playing his grandson aged four,” he continued, “and loved every minute of the following 12 years.

“He was a teacher, friend and also loved joking around. Devastated to hear he has passed away, I am so thankful to have known him.”

Many of Jordan’s fans and colleagues in RTÉ also took to twitter to pay their respects for the legendary actor.

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