Actor Kenny Ireland Dies of Cancer

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By Afza Fathima | August 1, 2014 2:52 PM EST

"Benidorm" actor Kenny Ireland died at the age of 68 after battling cancer. He died in the early morning of July 31 while undergoing treatment. 

Kenny had been the creative director at Royal Lyceum Theatre at Edinburgh for over a decade. He played swinger Donald Steward in "Benidorm" telecasted in ITV and was also seen in "As Seen On TV."

He was written out of "Benidorm" in June so that he could concentrate on his health and receive treatment for cancer.

The Royal Lyceum Theatre broke the news to the public by publishing the following statement: "We are greatly saddened to learn today that Kenny Ireland, Artistic Director of The Lyceum from 1992-2003 passed away this morning." 

The Scottish actor directed productions on stage like "Phaedra," "Waiting for Godot" and "Dancing Lughnasa" and appeared in TV in shows like "Taggart," "Auf Wiedersehen Pet", "Drop the Dead Monkey" and "Heartbeat." He starred in the original series of political drama "House of Cards," alongside Ian Richardson.

"We are terribly saddened to hear that Kenny Ireland has passed away, our thoughts are with his family at this time." an ITV spokesperson told the Mirror.

"He was a much loved actor, not only by the cast and crew on Benidorm but by the millions of fans out there. He appeared as Donald Stewart in Benidorm from the first episode and helped play a huge part in its success. He will be greatly missed."

His wife, Meg, had encouraged him to audition for the role of Donald Stewart and he joked that if one's wife gets them a job as a swinger, did that mean she was trying to tell them something. 

His co-star Tony Maudsley paid his respects on Twitter, where he wrote, "Today we are saying goodbye to one of our beloved Benidorm Family. It's a very sad day for us all. R.I.P. Kenny x."

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