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‘Game of Thrones’ Actor J.J. Murphy Dies Four Days into Filming Season 5

Variety Staff
August 11, 2014

Game of Thrones” actor J.J. Murphy has died four days after shooting his first scenes for season five of the HBO series. He was 86.

The Northern Ireland native collapsed and died on Friday, Aug. 8, according to the Belfast Telegraph. Murphy was cast as Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night’s Watch and commander of the Shadow Tower, and was reportedly due to film further scenes in the coming weeks.

“Game of Thrones” producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff released the following statement in regards to Murphy’s passing: “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.”

Murphy also had a role in the upcoming feature film “Dracula Untold,” and appeared in pics including “Angela’s Ashes” and “Cal.” The majority of his work took place on the stage, however, treading the boards at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast alongside the likes of Liam Neeson and “Game of Thrones” co-star Ciaran Hinds.

New cast members for season five of the series were announced at Comic-Con, including “Whale Rider’s” Keisha Castle-Hughes as Prince Oberyn Martell’s daughter, Obara Sand, and Jonathan Pryce as religious leader The High Sparrow.

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