Veteran Game of Thrones Actor J.J. Murphy Dies at 86, Producers Not Recasting Murphy's Role of Night's Watch Member Ser Denys Mallister

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By Jenalyn Villamarin | August 12, 2014 1:35 PM EST

Actor J.J. Murphy has been cast as the oldest member of the Night's Watch, Ser Denys Mallister, in "Game of Thrones" Season 5. Unfortunately, the 86-year-old Northern Ireland veteran actor collapsed and then died after completing his work on some scenes in the new season's first four days of filming.

According to a Belfast Telegraph report, J.J. Murphy was still scheduled to film more scenes for the upcoming new season of the HBO series. Murphy even shared to friends that he is excited to be a part of "Game of Thrones" Season 5 where his character is set to debut.

A Sydney Morning Herald report revealed that show producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have declared not recasting Murphy's "Game of Thrones" Night's Watch role. "We will not be recasting J.J. Murphy. He was a lovely man, and the best Denys Mallister we could have hoped for. And now his watch is ended," Weiss and Benioff declared in a released statement.  

Writer Damian Gorman, who had the opportunity to work with J.J. Murphy, described the veteran actor as a "lovely man and a lovely actor." Murphy's other work credits include "Mickybo and Me," "Cal," "Angela's Ashes" and the upcoming "Dracula Untold" film.

J.J. Murphy was also known as a theatre actor, who trained at the Ulster Group Theatre School in 1948 and worked for several years at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast. Director Paula McFetridge of the award-winning Kabosh Theatre Company in Belfast expressed on social media site Twitter that the veteran's actor death was a sad loss.

The director described J.J. Murphy as a great actor and a gentleman. Philip Young, the actor's agent, revealed that he was heartbroken after finding out that J.J. Murphy passed away.   

"I have never encountered a man with more spirit, passion and love for his craft. At this time our thoughts are with his family," Young stated. The actor's agent further shared that the HBO executives and "Dracula Untold" director Gary Shore sent him messages of sympathy over J.J. Murphy's death. The veteran actor's funeral will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 13, in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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