Karl Shiels: Irish TV and theatre star dies at 47


Karl ShielsImage copyright
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Shiels was a TV actor and artistic director at the Theatre Upstairs in Dublin

Irish actor Karl Shiels, who starred as Robbie Quinn in TV soap opera Fair City, has died at the age of 47.

Shiels, who was most recently seen in Fair City on Sunday, had been in the RTE One soap since 2014.

He had other roles in TV and film including Batman Begins, Peaky Blinders, Veronica Guerin and The Tudors.

He was nominated for best actor at the Irish Film and Television Academy’s TV awards in 2016.

His theatre credits included Henry IV part one at The Abbey Theatre in Dublin and Enda Walsh’s Penelope for the Druid Theatre Company.

The news was confirmed by his agent Lisa Richards. “We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of our client and friend Karl Shiels yesterday,” she said in a statement.

“Karl was a uniquely talented individual, simultaneously intense, light-hearted, funny, sharp-witted, outspoken and intensely powerful… Karl was a remarkable force in Irish theatre.

“Our hearts are broken but today our thoughts are with his partner Laura and his family, his children and their mother Dearbhla and his many close friends.”

His Fair City colleagues and figures from the theatre world also paid tribute.

Shiels was also artistic director of the Theatre Upstairs in Dublin, and starred in plays at prestigious UK theatres including the Royal Court and the Bush theatre.

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