James Nesbitt flies home from New Zealand set of The Hobbit after mother May dies aged 79
14:37 GMT, 11 June 2012
James Nesbitt has flown home from the set of new movie The Hobbit in New Zealand after receiving the devastating news of the death of his mother.
The actor is now on his way back to his home in Northern Ireland following the passing of 79-year-old May, who suffered from Alzheimers Disease.
In a statement, Nesbitt said: 'Mum passed away on Friday night and the whole family is devastated by the news.'
Tragic news: James Nesbitt, seen here with wife Sonia, has flown back from the set of The Hobbit after news that his mother has died
In an interview in 2010, Nesbitt said that he and his family were doing their best to cope with May's debilitating condition.
He said: 'On my last visit she did not know me but she knew dad. You
just have to deal with it and we have responded as a family.
rose to the challenge and has dealt with it. He is so thankful that he
had 50 years of marriage with mum before this really begun.'
Screen star: Nesbitt has been in New Zealand shooting The Hobbit, in which he stars as Bofur
Nesbitt has been living in New Zealand with his wife Sonia and their two daughters Peggy and Mary while he plays dwarf Bofur
in Peter Jackson's Lord Of The Rings prequel.
In a recent interview, Nesbitt said the relocation to New Zealand had been difficult for his family.
He said: 'Kids at a certain age don’t
necessarily want to be dragged to the other side of the world, but
they’ve certainly been made to feel very welcome; they are loving the
'To be part of that is an adventure, not only professionally but for all of us personally as well.
'We’ve been made to feel incredibly
at home. We are very aware that we are part of something significant
and, hopefully, very large.'