The year, 2020 has been no good so far. Since its beginning, we have mostly been hearing reports of infection, death, mismanagement, and hunger. And it’s getting worse with each passing day. People have died in large numbers across nations due to the global pandemic of coronavirus. Amidst the chaos, we have had to bid farewell to some great artists as well. Game of Thrones actor B.J. Hogg passed away on April 30 at the age of 65, reported BBC News. He played Ser Addam Marbrand on the show, one of the chief knights who served Tywin Lannister.
The Northern Irish actor had a career lasting four decades as an actor, writer, and director. His actual name was William Henry Brian Hogg, but he was better known by his stage name, BJ Hogg. Hogg began as a musician and went on to become a notable performer in Belfast’s Lyric Theater. He traveled the world as a celebrated stage performer. Apart from Game of Thrones, he also appeared in the British-Irish crime drama series, The Fall.
He was best known for his role as Big Mervyn in the BBC Northern Ireland comedy series, Give My Head Peace. He starred in the show for more than 20 years and toured for its stage show earlier this year. Another key highlight of his career was the 1996 short film, Dance Lexie Dance. The film also earned an Oscar nomination for the Best Live Action Short Film and rave reviews for its performances. Some other films that Hogg starred in are Hunger, Closing the Ring, and Divorcing Jack.
Everybody associated with #GiveMyHeadPeace is shocked and heartbroken by the sudden passing of our dear friend and colleague BJ Hogg. We’ve lost a member of the family. Thanks for all the laughs BJ. https://t.co/XSA4fofKGZ
— Tim Mc Garry (@Tim_Mc_Garry) April 30, 2020
People close to the actor expressed their grief and offered condolences to his family. Tim McGarry tweeted on behalf of the Hole in the Wall gang, the comedy team behind Give My Head Peace. “Everybody associated with #GiveMyHeadPeace is shocked and heartbroken by the sudden passing of our dear friend and colleague BJ Hogg. We’ve lost a member of the family. Thanks for all the laughs BJ.” In a statement by the team, Tim talked some more about him, “I was on stage with him a few weeks ago and it’s just heartbreaking. He was such a lovely guy. BJ, as you probably know, was a big guy but he was a big softie as well and it is just so, so sad.”
Peter Johnston, the director of BBC Northern Ireland, too had kind words to say about the actor. “BJ was a great comedy talent and a much-loved character in our long-running sitcom, Give My Head Peace. Many people will also remember his performance in the Oscar-nominated Dance Lexie Dance. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad and difficult time”. Hogg’s agent, Geoff Stanton expressed his shock and sadness. “He was such a great man, a big personality, and a terrific actor. His family must be devastated and my heart goes out to them. He was just one of the nicest people I know, or knew – he is going to be such a loss.” The cause of death is not known yet, but it’s ironic that BJ seemingly passed away on his birthday.
Some popular, iconic actors have left us this year. Max von Sydow (Three-Eyed Raven) passed away a couple of months ago. Indian actors Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor died just two days ago. Irrfan, in particular, was a unique performer who left audiences and critics in awe of his silent gestures and quiet reflection. He also left his marks on the global cinematic landscape with films like Inferno and Life of Pi.
We wish the families of all these great artists strength, courage, and peace. Although it’s difficult to measure someone’s popularity, we’re certain these losses to the art community are felt globally.
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