Friday Night Dinner actor Paul Ritter dies from brain tumour aged 54

6 April 2021, 11:24 | Updated: 6 April 2021, 12:13

Actor Paul Ritter has died after suffering from a brain tumour
Actor Paul Ritter has died after suffering from a brain tumour. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Friday Night Dinner and Chernobyl actor Paul Ritter has died at the age of 54 after suffering from a brain tumour, his agent has said.

A statement said: "It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last night.

"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.

"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 starred in Friday Night Dinner, Chernobyl, and Quantum of Solace.

His portrayal of the gaffe prone father Martin Goodman in sitcom Friday Night Dinner has been hailed by TV critics as one of the most memorable comedy characters on British TV in decades. He starred alongside Tamsin Greig and Simon Bird in the hit series.

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 James Bond film Quantum Of Solace, in period drama Belgravia, as Billy Cartwright in Vera and Sir John Seymour in Wolf Hall.

Actor Rob Delaney paid tribute to Ritter.

"Knocked it out of the PARK in Chernobyl. Watching it I consciously thought, 'Oh, we have a new movie star,'" Delaney wrote on Twitter.

"Between that and how funny he was in Friday Night Dinner... just unreal talent. Rest in peace, Paul Ritter."

Actors were paying tribute to him on Twitter today.

Actor Eddie Marsan wrote: "Just out of drama school I saw a production of Three Sisters. A young actor playing Tuzenbach, did the monologue before the duel.

"I'd heard it every week at DS (drama school). But when he did it, I forgot I'd heard it before. He went on to be one of our greatest actors. RIP Paul Ritter," Marsan wrote on Twitter.

Will Mellor said Ritter was a "fantastic actor".

"I'm so shocked to hear about Paul Ritter! I can't believe it!," he wrote on Twitter. "Great man and fantastic actor, My heart goes out to his family, Such a sad day. RIP Paul. X #RIP #heartbreaking. "