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Subject: Z-Cars actor Jimmy Ellis dies at 82

Written By: Philip Eno on 03/10/14 at 3:09 am

The Belfast-born actor Jimmy Ellis, best known for his roles in Z-Cars and alongside a young Kenneth Branagh in BBC Northern Ireland's series of "Billy" plays, has died.

Mr Ellis died from a stroke in Lincoln Hospital early on Saturday. He was 82.

He began his acting career in 1952 at Belfast's Group Theatre before moving to England in the early 1960s.

His first big break came when he was cast as Bert Lynch in police drama Z-Cars, which ran from 1962 to 1978.

His son, Toto, said it was extraordinarily hard to watch him die.

"It was sad to watch him slip away. The last words he heard were that he was a hero, a legend and we all loved him," he said.

Speaking about the funeral arrangements, he said: "We are taking him home to Belfast - Belfast meant the world to him.

"He blazed a trail for Northern Ireland actors, in that he was the first character not to change his accent. Dad was so proud of his roots and his beliefs."

Paying tribute to him, Sir Kenneth Branagh said Ellis had been "a great inspiration" to him and many other actors from Northern Ireland.

"I was blessed to begin my career working with him, and I will never forget his generosity to me. He was a highly intelligent, funny, and kind man, and a tremendous actor," he said.

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Subject: Re: Z-Cars actor Jimmy Ellis dies at 82

Written By: apollonia1986 on 03/15/14 at 3:14 pm

:\'( This is so sad.

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