Actor Tom Murphy, Tony Winner for Leenane, Dies

Obituaries   Actor Tom Murphy, Tony Winner for Leenane, Dies
Tom Murphy, the Dublin-born actor who won a Tony Award playing a bored Irish teenager in Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane, died Oct. 6. He was 39 according to his friend, Kris Stone.
Tom Murphy
Tom Murphy Photo by Courtesy Kris Stone.

The cause was a quickly spreading lymphatic cancer, said Stone.

In McDonagh's gorey domestic drama, Mr. Murphy lent comedy to the proceedings as the gangly, fidgety rural lad Ray Dooley, who unknowingly comes between the play's three primary characters: the middle-aged, lovelorn Maureen; her interfering mother Mag; and her potential beau Pato. At one point, waiting to deliver a letter that will prove a major plot device, a frustrated Ray turned himself upside down in his chair, groaning with boredom over his chore.

"Mr. Murphy offers comic relief without ever presenting it as such," wrote Ben Brantley in The New York Times. "His, more than any other character, must embody the provincial society beyond the women's home, and Ray's irritable restlessness is eloquent on the subject." Mr. Murphy beat out his castmate Brian F. O'Byrne for the Tony.

A mid-sized man with short-cropped hair, large ears and an expressive face, Mr. Murphy's film work included a lead role in the movie "Adam and Paul." He also acted in "The Snapper," "Michael Collins" and the television series "Pure Mule."

According to BBC News, Marie Mullen, his co-star in Leenane, led a round of applause at the Oct. 6 curtain of Long Day's Journey Into Night at the Gaiety Theatre. So did many other theatres in Dublin.

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