Singer Frank Patterson

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on August 31, 2003

I heard that Frank Patterson, the great Irish tenor died. When did he die and from what?
—Hansel T., Louisiana

The man known as Ireland's Golden Tenor passed away in New York City on June 10, 2000, from a brain tumor. He is buried in Tipperary, Ireland, where he grew up, and is survived by his wife, concert pianist Eily O'Grady, and their son Eanan. Patterson declared that he would be a singer on his first day of school and performed locally as part of a group called the Wren Boys when he was in his teens. In 1962, he started formal voice training in Dublin and soon found himself gathering one vocal award after another at Ireland's national music festival. It didn't take long before his talent was known around the world—he's performed for both President Reagan and President Clinton, as well as Pope John Paul II. He acted and sang in the film The Dead alongside Anjelica Huston, and sang Danny Boy in the movie Miller's Crossing. He was thrilled when he was invited to appear on The Tracy Ullman Show because it gave him an opportunity to show off his flair for comedy. Patterson recorded more than 35 albums over his 30-year career, and delighted in bringing Irish music to American audiences through his PBS television specials. His final show for the public television channel was God Bless America, a musical salute to his adopted country.