The actor Paul Ritter has died of a brain tumour at the age of 54, his agent has confirmed.
“It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last night,” said his agent. “He died peacefully at home with his wife Polly and sons Frank and Noah by his side. He was 54 and had been suffering from a brain tumour.”
In his statement, his agent also said that the actor, who also appeared in numerous films including Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Quantum of Solace, died at home with his family by his side.
“Paul was an exceptionally talented actor playing an enormous variety of roles on stage and screen with extraordinary skill. He was fiercely intelligent, kind and very funny. We will miss him greatly.”
He had a number of stage roles, working with the National Theatre in ‘The Royal Hunt of the Sun’, ‘All My Sons’, ‘Coram Boy’, ‘The Hot-House’, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night- time’ and more recently as John Major in ‘The Audience’.
For the Royal Shakespeare company he has taken part in a host of classical plays including ‘Troilus and Cressida’ and ‘The White Devil’ and in 2009, along with co-stars Amanda Root, Jessica Hynes and Stephen Mangan was nominated for a Tony award when the Old Vic’s revival of ‘The Norman Conquests’ played on Broadway.
His TV career went back to 1992 appearance in The Bill and more recently police dramas ‘Vera’ and ‘No Offence’ . Over the past decade he has become one of television’s most frequent character actors in such varied parts as Benjamin Stevens in Cold Feet, Anatoly Dyatlov in the highly acclaimed Chernoble and Turton in the mini series Belgravia. He also portrayed Eric Sykes in the TV drama ‘Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This.’
He perhaps enjoyed his greatest public success playing eccentric, Martin “nice bit of squirrel” Goodman during weekly family gatherings in ‘Friday Night Dinner’ the Channel 4 sitcom of that name.