Jamie Dornan Says 2021 Was ‘the Worst Year of My Life’ After His Dad Died of COVID – PEOPLE.com

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Jamie Dornan's dad, Jim Dornan, died of COVID-19 in March 2021

Jamie Dornan is reflecting on his difficult past year.

Despite garnering acclaim for his performances in both The Tourist and Belfast, the actor, 39, said 2021 was one of his most trying years after the death of his father. Last year, he also memorably appeared in the comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.

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"It's a strange thing to end the year with all this positivity — with so much praise for Belfast and a lot of good talk about The Tourist," he told The Telegraph. "Because on many levels it's been the worst year of my life, and the hardest."

Jamie Dornan

Credit: Dave J Hogan/Getty

Dornan lost his dad, Dr. Jim Dornan, to COVID-19 in March 2021. Jim, who worked as an obstetrician and gynecologist, was 73 years old at the time of his death. He had been previously diagnosed with lymphocytic leukemia in 2005.

"Truly, you could search far and wide and it would be very hard to find something negative to say about my dad. He was a beacon of positivity — that is my overriding takeaway," Jamie said of his late father. 

"His kindness, his willingness to talk to anybody and everybody," he continued. "He used to say, 'You treat the person who cleans the court the same as you treat the judge.' Dad had time for everybody."

Jamie Dornan father and sister

Jim Dornan, Jess Dornan, Jamie Dornan

| Credit: Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty

Jim's first wife and Jamie's mom, Lorna, died in 1998 of pancreatic cancer. Jamie reflected on how his dad helped him cope with the loss of his mom, telling The Telegraph that Jim once told him of grief, "Don't let this be the thing that defines you."

While he admitted people "wear [grief] and it shapes you and colors you forever," he added, "[Your] life will never be the same again, but you can't lead with it."

"I am probably a much stronger person as a result," he said of losing his mom as a teenager. "I was young and naive and I had to grow up really fast. I had to find a strength and resilience that I didn't know I had." 

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