|Died||11 July 2019 (aged 68)|
|Children||4, including Bradley|
Brendan Grace (1 April 1951 - 11 July 2019) was an Irish comedian and singer. He was best known for his comedy schoolboy character 'Bottler', the 1995 film Moondance, and his 1996 appearance in the Irish TV sitcom Father Ted as Father Fintan Stack. His 1975 song "The Combine Harvester" was a number one hit in Ireland, and his 1982 release of "The Dutchman" is considered to be one of the most enduring versions of the song.
Born in the heart of Dublin in 1951, Grace was raised on Echlin Street, in the inner city Liberties neighbourhood. His father Seamus worked as a bartender, an ambulance man and other odd jobs to keep the family going. Like many young Dubliners of the time, Grace left school at the age of 13 to begin working. His first job was as a messenger boy, an occupation he often referred to in his live act.
At the age of 18, Grace formed a band known as the Gingermen. They toured Ireland in what has become known as the showband era of the 1960s, although the Gingermen were a folk group rather than a showband. During a gig one night, the band found themselves two members short; in an attempt to calm an anxious crowd, Grace was thrust upon the stage to humour them. His wit and observations of daily life in Ireland immediately won over the crowd, and he would go on to sell out venues around the globe. He shared stages with many well-known names, such as Frank Sinatra, who referred to Grace as his "man in Europe", and John Denver, among many others.
In 1995, Grace starred in Moondance, and the following year he appeared in the Father Ted episode "New Jack City" as Father Fintan Stack. In 2007, he appeared as Big Sean in Killinaskully, and in 2015, he starred in The Gift.
He also reprised his Bottler character in a TV movie also called Bottler in November 2013. It tells of Bottler's exploits in his early years.
In November 2009, Grace released his autobiography, Amuzing Grace (ISBN 0956354114). In his later life, he divided his time between his home in Jupiter, Florida, and his pub in Killaloe, County Clare, which he named Brendan Grace's Bar.
Grace was diagnosed with pneumonia in June 2019, and died from lung cancer at the Galway Clinic in Galway, Ireland, on 11 July 2019, aged 68. His funeral took place on 15 July at the Church of St. Nicholas of Myra in Dublin, followed by cremation. The funeral was attended by thousands of fans who lined the streets outside the church as well as along the procession route, which included stops outside the Guinness brewery and Grace's childhood home on Echlin Street.