Authorities say actor J.J. Murphy has died days after starting his new role on the HBO series "Game of Thrones."
No cause of death was given for the 86-year-old, who worked for decades on the Belfast stage. Murphy was cast to portray Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night's Watch military order, and started filming scenes last week. He died Friday at his home.
HBO said Murphy's role would not be recast but did not say if if planned scenes involving Mallister will be rewritten. Much of "Game of Thrones" is filmed in Northern Ireland and local actors feature prominently in the cast.
A statement read: "We will not be recasting J.J. Murphy. He was a lovely man, and the best Denys Mallister we could have hoped for. And now his watch is ended." - D.B. Weiss and David Benioff."
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland praised Murphy as a mentor to younger Belfast actors, including Liam Neeson.
Murphy's Belfast funeral is scheduled for Wednesday.
Copyright 2014 MyFoxNY/The Associated Press.