'Game Of Thrones' Season 5 Actor J.J. Murphy Dies Just Days Into Filming

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It's a big loss for the Game Of Thrones family today, as news spreads that Game Of Thrones actor J.J. Murphy has died just days into filming for Season 5. He was 86. Murphy, who was best known throughout his life as a stage actor, had just recently been cast in Game Of Thrones. He was playing Ser Denys Mallister, the eldest member of Night's Watch and longtime commander of the Shadow Tower. Though the exact cause of death has not been announced, Murphy collapsed on Friday, Aug. 8, just four days after he started filming Season 5.

Murphy was a native of Belfast, one of the many locations where Game Of Thrones films, and appeared in the movie Angela's Ashes and had a few other onscreen credits, but spent most of his career on the stage. As the Belfast Telegraph notes, "He worked for many years at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast where internationally renowned actors like Liam Neeson and Ciaran Hinds learned their craft alongside him."

The Telegraph also mentions that Murphy "had told friends he was excited to be working on the series." The show's producers have yet to comment on his death, and have not yet announced whether they plan to recast the role.

Image: HBO