Actor Tim Pigott-Smith Dies, Aged 70

Tim Piggott-Smith

by James White |
Published on

A great British character actor known for his stage and screen work, has died. Tim Pigott-Smith was 70.

Born in Rugby, Pigott-Smith got his first true taste of acting and performance as an audience member, attending a Royal Shakespeare theatre production of The Wars Of The Roses and took a job in the Royal Shakespeare Company's paint shop to be near the stage. He graduated from Bristol University with a degree in English, French and drama and then attended the Bristol Old Vic theatre school alongside Jeremy Irons and Christopher Biggins. At first working as an acting stage manager, he began taking small parts and later rejoined the RSC to play Posthumous in Cymbeline and Dr. Watson in a production of Sherlock Holmes.

Television was where he had his biggest successes, including working, like so many of his peers on two Doctor Who stories and in the first of the Beeb's adaptations of North And South. He would go on to mix theatre work with TV and is probably best known as the scowling Ronald Merrick in 1984's The Jewel In The Crown, which won him a BAFTA. Pigott-Smith played a variety of police officers on screens big and small, and was seen as the foreign secretary in Quantum Of Solace. Other notable films included V For Vendetta, Flyboys, Gangs Of New York, Bloody Sunday, The Remains Of The Day and the original Clash Of The Titans in 1981.

He died on Friday, and is survived by his wife, actor Pamela Miles and their son Tom. “Tim was one of the great actors of his generation,” Pigott-Smith’s agent John Grant said in a statement carried by Screen International. “Much-loved and admired by his peers, he will be remembered by many as a gentleman and a true friend.”

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