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Paul Ritter: Friday Night Dinner and Harry Potter star dies of brain tumour aged 54


Friday Night Dinner star Paul Ritter has died of a brain tumour at the age of 54.

The actor, who also starred in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, the acclaimed TV series Chernobyl and the James Bond film Quantum Of Solace, died at home with his family by his side.

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The actor playing eccentric dad Martin in the hit comedy

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

Paul Ritter, Tom Rosenthal, Simon Bird and Tamsin Greig attending a screening of Friday Night Dinner, at the Curzon Soho in London. Picture date: Monday March 9, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
Image:
Paul Ritter, pictured with Friday Night Dinner co-stars Tom Rosenthal, Simon Bird and Tamsin Greig

“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.”

Paul Ritter starred as Anatoly Dyatlov in the award-winning Chernobyl mini-series in 2019. Pic: Sky UK/HBO
Image:
Paul Ritter as Anatoly Dyatlov in the award-winning Chernobyl mini-series in 2019. Pic: Sky UK/HBO

Comedian Rob Delaney was one of many who posted Twitter tributes, describing Ritter as “unreal talent”.

Friday Night Dinner writer Robert Popper said Ritter was “the greatest actor I ever worked with”.

In Friday Night Dinner, Ritter played the quietly-suffering, often shirtless, hard-of-hearing husband and dad Martin Goodman.

His widely-acclaimed role as Anatoly Dyatlov, the deputy chief engineer at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, led to the five-part miniseries becoming the best-rated show ever on global movie and TV website IMDb – and hailed as “the greatest drama of all time”.

In Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, he played wizard Eldred Worple.

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

Ritter is due to appear in the Friday Night Dinner 10th anniversary episode, which will air on Channel 4 later this year.





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