Jamie Dornan Says 2021 Was 'the Worst Year of My Life' After the Death of His Father

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Jaimie Dornan’s 2021 was full of success in his professional career with the release of Belfast and his new BBC thriller, The Tourist. However, the 39-year-old admitted that it was one of the hardest for him personally.

“It’s a strange thing to end the year with all this positivity,” he said during a recent interview with The Telegraph. “With so much praise for Belfast and a lot of good talk about The Tourist – because on many levels it’s been the worst year of my life, and the hardest.” 

Dornan’s father, Jim Dornan, died in March 2021 due to complications from COVID-19. Dornan was close to his father but had not seen him in 18 months due to the pandemic and his filming schedule. 

Northern Irish actor Jamie Dornan (right) with his sister Jessica Dornan Lynas and father Dr Jim Dornan, during the Pancreatic Cancer charity NIPanC launch at the Mater Hospital in Belfast.
Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images

“Truly, you could search far and wide and it would be very hard to find something negative to say about my dad,” he continued about Jim, who was an obstetrician and gynecologist.  

“He was a beacon of positivity – that is my overriding takeaway. His kindness, his willingness to talk to anybody and everybody – he used to say, you treat the person who cleans the court the same as you treat the judge. Dad had time for everybody,” he added. 

Dornan's mother died when he was 16 years old after battling cancer -- a life event that his father turned into a lesson.  

“I’ve tried to take that into my own life," Dornan said. "We’re talking about a professor of medicine here, an insanely intelligent man. He was so positive – he would say, 'this has happened, how do we move forward and get something good out of this?'”  

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