Friday Night Dinner actor Paul Ritter has died; he was 54.
The news was confirmed by Ritter’s agent to The Guardian, who said Ritter passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on Monday (April 5). He’d been suffering from a brain tumour.
The statement read: “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.”
Ritter starred as dad Martin in Channel 4’s Friday Night Dinner alongside co-stars Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal.
He also appeared in numerous films including Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, as well as Quantum of Solace alongside Daniel Craig. He also starred in the critically-acclaimed TV series, Chernobyl.
Ritter was nominated for an Olivier award in 2006 as well as a Tony Award in 2009.
He was due to appear in Channel 4’s 10th anniversary celebrations for Friday Night Dinner later this year.
Tributes to Ritter have been paid widely on social media.
The creator of Friday Night Dinner, Robert Popper, said: “Devastated at this terribly sad news. Paul was a lovely, wonderful human being. Kind, funny, super caring and the greatest actor I ever worked with.”
Actor Shaun Dooley tweeted: “Awful awful news. Paul was an incredible actor and more importantly an absolutely lovely man. An honour to have known and worked with you sir. Rest in peace Paul. Sending love to his family.”
Bridgerton and Derry Girls actor Nicola Coughlan added: “So, so sad to hear this. I was such a fan of Paul Ritter he was absolutely magic, RIP.”
You can read some of the tributes below:
Devastated at this terribly sad news. Paul was a lovely, wonderful human being. Kind, funny, super caring and the greatest actor I ever worked with x https://t.co/yD6QpHEeo8
— Robert Popper (@robertpopper) April 6, 2021
Oh God, this is terrible devastating news. Paul was a stunning actor, a lovely lovely guy. How utterly dreadful.https://t.co/TmQn6XcUdj
— Toby Whithouse (@TobyWhithouse) April 6, 2021
Awful awful news. Paul Was an incredible actor and more importantly an absolutely lovely man. An honour to have known and worked with you sir. Rest in peace Paul. Sending love to his family. ❤️ x https://t.co/g9uhjQHjVA
— Shaun Dooley (@shaundooley) April 6, 2021
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.
— Sanjeev Kohli (@govindajeggy) April 6, 2021
Paul Ritter was a brilliant actor and from my brief experience a lovely bloke. This is so sad. My heart goes out to his family x
— Stuart Maconie (@StuartMaconie) April 6, 2021
RIP to Paul Ritter, who played dad Martin Goodman in ‘Friday Night Dinner’. He’s died after a brain tumour at 54. Very sad news. Thank you for the laughs. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/OgVJZD2IZo
— Tony Shepherd (@tonysheps) April 6, 2021
So, so sad to hear this. I was such a fan of Paul Ritter he was absolutely magic, RIP https://t.co/470euDcx9J
— Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) April 6, 2021
Knocked it out of the PARK in Chernobyl. Watching it I consciously thought, “Oh, we have a new movie star.” Between that & how funny he was in Friday Night Dinner… just unreal talent. Rest in peace, Paul Ritter. pic.twitter.com/nw8HnRZxRd
— Rob Delaney (@robdelaney) April 6, 2021
Just out of drama school I saw a production of 3 Sisters. A young actor playing Tuzenbach, did the monologue before the duel. I’d heard it every week at DS. 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.
— Eddie Marsan (@eddiemarsan) April 6, 2021
This is a breaking story – more to follow.