Paul Ritter, Harry Potter and James Bond Actor, Dies at 54

Paul Ritter, the actor whose work includes roles in HBO's Chernobyl and the Harry Potter and James Bond film series, has died. He was 54 years old. His death occurred on Monday and was the result of a brain tumor. His agent released a statement saying that he died at home with family by his side. “It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last night,” the statement reads. “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 Ritter
(Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Ritter's film work includes the movies Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Quantum of Solace but in the United Kingdom, Ritter is best known for playing Martin in the Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner, where he worked alongside Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird, and Tom Rosenthal.

Friday Night Dinner creator Robert Popper shared his thoughts after news of Ritter's death broke. "Devastated at this terribly sad news," he tweeted. "Paul was a lovely, wonderful human being. Kind, funny, super caring and the greatest actor I ever worked with."

Ritter also appeared in the 2014 spy movie titled The Game. Toby Whithouse wrote the film. He took to Twitter to say, “This is terrible devastating news. Paul was a stunning actor, a lovely lovely guy. How utterly dreadful.”

Actor Sanjeev Kohli also shared his thoughts, tweeting, “Paul Ritter was one of the most versatile & brilliant actors that has ever drawn breath. If Paul Ritter was in something, it made it good. This is horrendous news.”

Ritter's career also spanned work on stage. In 2006, he earned an Olivier Award nomination for his role in Coram Boy. In 2009, he earned a Tony Awards nomination for his lead role in Norman Conquests.

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Stephen Mangan, who'd known Ritter since they were students and worked with him in Norman Conquests, shared his remembrance. He tweeted, "Trying to find a way to talk about Paul Ritter and struggling. My friend since we were students together. So much talent and it shone from him even as a teenager. I was so lucky to know him and lucky too to work with him many times over the years. Wonderful man. RIP."

Ritter will appear in Channel 4's upcoming Friday Night Dinner 10th-anniversary retrospective later this year. His other credits include roles in the series Vera, No Offence, Belgravia and Cold Feet. He'll appear in the upcoming war drama Operation Mincemeat from John Madden, which also stars Colin Firth.