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Irish Character Actor Derrick O’Connor Dies at 77

Versatile Irish character actor Derrick O’Connor died from pneumonia on June 29 in Santa Barbara, Calif. He was 77.

O’Connor was born in Dublin and raised in London. He had lived in the U.S. since 1990 and was most recently living in the Santa Ynez Valley, north of Santa Barbara with his wife, Mimi.

The actor starred in three of director Terry Gilliam’s films: “Time Bandits,” “Brazil,” and “Jabberwocky.” He played the villain Pieter Vorstedt in “Lethal Weapon 2” and worked opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in “End of Days.”

He also appeared in John Boorman’s “Hope and Glory and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.” One of his first movie roles came in the 1973 British science-fiction film “The Final Programme.”

His notable U.S. television appearances include “Alias,” “Carnivale,” “Tracey Takes On,” “Monk,” “Murder, She Wrote,” and “Ghost.” In the U.K. and Australia, he was best known for starring roles in “Stringer,” “Fox,” “The Sweeney” and “Knockback.”

O’Connor was a member of both the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Scottish National Theatre, with multiple lead stage roles in Edinburgh, Stratford-on-Avon and London’s West End. He starred in U.K. productions of plays including “The Knack,” “The Dumb Waiter,” and “Born Yesterday.” He worked with directors Mike Leigh and Richard Eyre.

His work in theater also included directing and producing a presentation of Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape” and directing “Rock Justice,” which was written by Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane. Both were staged in San Francisco. He also wrote and directed the Irish docudrama film “A Pint of Plain.”

O’Connor was known for often paring down –- or fully eliminating –- his lines in a scene in order to emphasize the physical aspects of his role.

O’Connor is survived by his widow, Mimi, and son, Max. A private celebration of life has been planned for close friends and family in San Francisco.

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