Notting Hill star John Shrapnel dies aged 77 after cancer battle

Notting Hill and Gladiator actor John Shrapnel has died aged 77 after a battle with cancer, it was confirmed on Wednesday. The late star famously played Julia Roberts's British press agent in the hit 1999 film rom-com before appearing as Senator Gaius in Gladiator in 2000. He also known for his work in theatre and took many roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

The National Theatre paid tribute to him on Twitter, writing: "We're very sad to hear that the wonderful actor John Shrapnel has died. He performed in many productions at the National Theatre, including Phèdre - our first @NTLiveproduction." Fellow actor Richard E. Grant also paid tribute to him, posting: "Sad to learn that John Shrapnel has died. I played his patient in HOW TO GET AHEAD IN ADVERTISING (1989). Generous, kind, funny and warm-hearted. Privileged to have known and worked with him."

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Maxine Peake added: "We have lost another great. The incomparable John Shrapnel. Honoured to have worked with him. Privileged to have called him a friend." The Birmingham-born star leaves behind three children and a wife, Francesca Bartley. He was born in Birmingham in 1942 and then went to live the final years of his life in Highbury, North London. John's career on screen and stage spanned over 50 years, with his last TV appearance in 2017 when he played Mike Bartlett's King Charles III.

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