Entertainment And News

'Peaky Blinders' Actor Karl Shiels Dead At 47 — Here's What We Know

Photo: getty
How Did Karl Shiels Die? New Details On The Death Of 'Peaky Blinders' Actor At Age 47

Hollywood was stunned when it was announced that Karl Shiels, an actor best known for his roles in Batman Begins and the hit Showtime series Peaky Blinders, died suddenly at the age of 47. But how did Karl Shiels die? 

Let's look at what we know about this tragic, and sudden, death.

1. He was reportedly "on crutches" before he'd passed away. 

According to AOL, just before the Ireland native passed away, he was spotted on crutches by onlookers. It was unclear to them, however, why he was in such a state. 

"A report alleges that he "died in his sleep" after repeatedly "falling asleep" on set of of Irish soap opera "Fair City" during filming. Insiders also claimed that Shiels was "seen on crutches and in a lot of pain" in the days before his death," they report.

Karl Shiels reportedly was on crutches before he passed away. 

RELATED: How Did Burt Reynolds Die?

2. Karl Shiels was an electrician before he became an actor. 

Though mostly known for his character work on such films as Batman Begins — in which he played "Arkham Thug No. 3" — Karl Shiels was actually in a very different line of work before he became an actor, according to Fox News

"The TV star started out as electrician but changed direction in the early '90s and studied at the Gaiety School of Acting. The Dublin-born actor worked on internationally-acclaimed television shows and films including "Batman Begins," "Veronica Guerin," "Intermission," "The Clinic," and "Capital Letters" for which he was nominated for an IFTA for Best Actor in 2004," reported the outlet, who added that he was still working on an acclaimed Irish soap when he passed away suddenly. 

Karl Shiels was best known as a character actor.

RELATED: How Did Stan Lee Die?

3. His agent, Lisa Richard, was traumatized by his death. 

According to People Magazine, Karl Shiels' longtime agent Lisa Richard was so traumatized by his death that she issued a long, heartfelt statement to the press to express her grief. 

"Karl was a uniquely talented individual, simultaneously intense, lighthearted, funny, sharp-witted, outspoken and intensely powerful as an actor, director and artistic director of the Theatre Upstairs — where he was such a support and mentor for young writers, actors and directors — and of his own company Semper Fi before that. Karl was a remarkable force in Irish theatre and hugely loved and respected by all who worked with him. Our hearts are broken but today our thoughts are with his partner Laura and his family, his children and their mother Dearbhla and his many close friends among whom we count ourselves lucky to have been for so many years,” she said in a statement.

Karl Shiels was known for his work on screen and on stage. 

4. Many celebrities shared their good wishes on social media.

According to USA Today, many celebrities — including many of Karl Shiels' co-stars, such as Aonghus Óg McAnally and Eric Lawlor — shared their well wishes and thoughts about the actor's death. 

"For those of us waking up this morning saying we'd give anything to spend another hour in the company of the great @KarlShiels, I hope this goes some way to filling that void. We'll miss you, Karlo. Onward," Aonghus wrote. 

Eric echoed a similar sentiment, sharing that he was "stunned and heartbroken" to learn of his friend's death, and that he was "thinking of his gorgeous family" in this difficult time. 

Karl Shiels was beloved by the Irish acting community. 

5. Karl Shiels' cause of death is unclear at the moment. 

According to Just Jared, Karl Shiels' cause of death is unclear, though many outlets have reached out to his representatives to get a confirmed cause of death. 

Our thoughts are with Karl Shiels and his family & friends during this difficult time. 


Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.