Tributes paid to Fair City actor Tom Jordan following his death

‘He was the heart of Fair City’, says long-running RTÉ soap’s executive producer

Tom Jordan (left) celebrating the 2,000th episode of Fair City with colleagues Sarah MacDowall, Jim Bartley and Tony Tormey. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Tom Jordan (left) celebrating the 2,000th episode of Fair City with colleagues Sarah MacDowall, Jim Bartley and Tony Tormey. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien


Tributes have been paid to Fair City actor Tom Jordan, following his death on Saturday.

Jordan, who grew up in Marino in north Dublin, had played Charlie Kelly in the RTÉ drama since it began in 1989. He lived in Roscommon in recent years and was in his early 80s when he died.

Executive producer of the show Brigie de Courcey said Jordan’s death was “devastating news”, describing him as a strong advocate for his colleagues across the industry.

“Tom Jordan was the heart of Fair City,” she said. “He will remain a legend for the viewers and for everyone who had the privilege of working with him. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time.”

Jim Bartley, who plays Bela Doyle in the soap, said he’d known Jordan for 40 years and that he was a “big part” of his life.

“Myself and Tom shared a dressing room in Fair City for nearly 30 of those years, since 1990, and they were a great 30 years,” Doyle said. “We’d discuss everything from the meaning of life to the profession we work in together over a pint, and he was one of the best friends I’ve had in the business. I’m going to miss him, and his Fair City family will miss him.”

True pro

Jenny Dixon who played Kerri-Ann on Fair City, posted on Twitter that Jordan had been a “a wise mentor, both on and off set” and a “pillar of strength”.

Clelia Murphy, who played Niamh in the show, described her former colleague as “a gentleman”, “a true pro” and a tireless campaigner for actor rights. “Thank you for entertaining us,” she posted on Instagram. “May he rest in peace. Carrigstown will be a poorer place without him.”

Fellow Fair City actor George McMahon honoured his former colleague as “an incredible actor and mentor”.

Actor Ian Kenny described Jordan on Twitter as “nothing but kind, patient and brilliant”.

“I began playing his grandson aged four and loved every minute of the following 12 years. He was a teacher, friend and also loved joking around. Devastated to hear he has passed away, I am so thankful to have known him.”

Rachel Carson Pilkington wrote on Twitter that she was “so sad to hear of the passing of my lovely colleague” and recalled presenting an Ifta with Jordan in 2014. “The gentlest, loveliest man who believed in respect & justice for all. One of life’s good souls.”

Before joining the soap Jordan was a member of the RTÉ Players from 1968 to 1972. He was also a founding member of the Project Arts Centre, worked with World Theatre Productions for 12 years and was artistic director of the Lyric Theatre in Belfast in 1987-1988.

Jordan is survived by his wife, Julie; his daughters, Annemarie, Jacqui and Julie; his sons, Jock and Tomás; his brother, Brendan; and sister, Phyllis; along with sons- and daughers-in-law, grandchildren and one great-grandchild.