'We are shocked': Peaky Blinders actor dies suddenly aged 47

Peaky Blinders and Batman Begins actor Karl Shiels has suddenly died at the age of 47, his agent has confirmed.

The Irishman, born in Dublin, played Ryan in the first series of the hit BBC series while also appearing more recently on RTE soap Fair City as Robbie since 2014.

His agent Lisa Richards confirmed his death with Irish broadcaster RTE.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of our client and friend Karl Shiels yesterday (Sunday),” she said in a statement.

Karl Shiels has played roles in Batman Begins and Peaky Blinders. Source: Getty

“Karl was a uniquely talented individual, simultaneously intense, light-hearted, funny, sharp witted, outspoken and intensely powerful... Karl was a remarkable force in Irish theatre.

“Our hearts are broken but today our thoughts are with his partner Laura and his family, his children, their mother Dearbhla and his many close friends, among whom we count ourselves lucky to have been for so many years.”

The circumstances surrounding his death are unclear however one Twitter user said she had seen the actor recently on crutches and “looked to be in a lot of pain”.

Karl Shiels as Ryan in Peaky Blinders. Source: Twitter/ Peaky Blinders

Tributes from co-stars, former colleagues and fans poured in for the actor, who has also had roles in The Tudors and Veronica Guerin while being nominated for Irish Film and Television Awards in 2004 and 2016.

Irish actor and comedian Chris O’Dowd offered his condolences on Twitter, saying Shiels was the “kind of fella you’d always be delighted to bump into in the street”.

Irish broadcaster Patrick Doyle said the actor was “charming, funny, honest and humble” during a recent interview together and he was “going to miss him”.

Fair City co-star Eric Lalor said he was “absolutely stunned and heartbroken” over the news of his death.

“A hugely gifted actor and a really great friend, I will miss him so much. Thinking of his gorgeous family, may he Rest In Peace,” he wrote.

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