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Actor Paul Ritter dies at 54

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Actor Paul Ritter has died aged 54, his agent has said.

He had appeared in a number of TV shows and films, including Harry Potter, Chernobyl, Vera, Friday Night Dinner, and James Bond.

Mr Ritter’s agent said: “It is with great sadness that we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last night.

“He passed away peacefully at home with his wife Polly and sons Frank and Noah by his side. He was 54 years old and suffered from a brain tumor.

“Paul was an exceptionally talented actor playing a huge variety of roles on stage and on screen with extraordinary skill. He was extremely smart, kind and very funny.

Robert Popper, who starred alongside Mr Ritter on Channel 4’s Friday Night Dinner, said: “Devastated by this terrible news.

“Paul was a lovely, wonderful human being. Kind, funny, very caring and the greatest actor I have ever worked with.”

Fellow actor Stephen Mangan wrote of MrRitter: “Trying to find a way to talk about struggling PaulRitterand. My friend since we were students together.

“So much talent and that shone on its own as a teenager.

“I have been very lucky to know and work with him many times over the years. A wonderful man. RIP.”

The actor was best known for his role as the patriarch of the Martin Goodman family in Channel 4’s Friday Night Dinner, in which he starred alongside Tamsin Greig and Simon Bird.

He also played Anatoly Dyatlov in the acclaimed drama Chernobyl and Eldred Worple in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Other notable roles were as Guy Haines in the James Bond film Quantum Of Solace, in the period drama Belgravia, as Billy Cartwright in Vera and Sir John Seymour in Wolf Hall.

Born in 1966, Ritter made his television debut in an episode of The Bill in 1992 and went on to become an acclaimed stage actor, working with the National Theater in The Royal Hunt Of The Sun, All My Sons, Coram Boy, The Hot-House, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and as John Major in the audience opposite Dame Helen Mirren as Queen.

He also worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and performed pistol in the 2012 miniseries The Hollow Crown.

Ritter was nominated for a Tony Award and an Olivier for his role as Reg in Old Vic’s revival of The Norman Conquests.

Actor Rob Delaney also paid tribute and said: “I took him out of Chernobyl Park. Looking at him, I consciously thought, ‘Oh we have a new movie star,’ Delaney wrote on Twitter.

“Between that and how funny he was in the Friday Night Dinner… just an unreal talent. Rest in peace, PaulRitter.

Actor Will Mellor has said that Mr. Ritter is a “fantastic actor”.

“I’m so shocked to hear about PaulRitter! Can’t believe it!” He wrote on Twitter. “Great man and fantastic actor, My heart goes out to his family, Such a sad day. RIPPaul.”

He signed his tweet with the hashtag “heartbreaking”.

More soon.



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