Thursday, April 29, 2010

RIP Shay Duffin


Character actor Shay Duffin, whose Irish background made him a natural to play bartenders, boxing announcers, cops and priests in hit films like 'Titanic,' 'The Departed' and 'Raging Bull,' died April 22 from complications to heart surgery. He was 79.

The Dublin native played the drink slinger who looked on as Leonardo DiCaprio won two tickets on the doomed Titanic, as well as bartenders in 'The Departed,' also starring DiCaprio, TV's 'Cagney & Lacey' and 'The Still Life.'

In 2003, he played legendary horse trainer Sunny Fitzsimmons in the hit 'Seabiscuit.' Other credits include 'Leprechaun,' 'Newsies' and most recently, the animated film 'Beowulf.'

Aside from film and television, Duffin enjoyed a distinguished stage career, and in 2006 wrote and performed a one-man play about oft-drunk Irish poet Brendan Behan, 'Confessions of an Irish Rebel.'

In that production, Duffin saddled up to a bar on stage, downing Guiness after Guiness. He told the New York Times in 2006 that decades ago, drinking too much was hardly frowned upon in Ireland.

"To get enough to eat was regarded as an achievement," he said. "To get drunk was a victory."

Duffin died at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. He is survived by daughters Laura, Linda, Ruth and Susan.


DUFFIN, Shay
Born: 2/27/1931, Dublin, Ireland
Died: 4/22/2010, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Shay Duffin's westerns - actor:
The White Buffalo - 1977 (Tim Brady)
Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (Mint train engineer)
The Frisco Kid - 1979 (O'Leary)

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