'Friday Night Dinner' star Paul Ritter dies of brain tumour aged 54

Albertina Lloyd
·Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK
·3-min read

Watch: Paul Ritter dies aged 54

Actor Paul Ritter has died at the age of 54 after suffering from a brain tumour.

The star of Channel 4 sitcom Friday Night Dinner passed away at home on Monday, 5 April surrounded by his family.

Ritter's agent told The Guardian: “It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last night,” said his agent. 

“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.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: (L-R) Paul Ritter, Tom Rosenthal, Simon Bird and Tamsin Greig attend the
Paul Ritter with 'Friday Night Dinner' co-stars Tom Rosenthal, Simon Bird and Tamsin Greig in March 2020. (Getty Images)

The star of stage and screen was perhaps best known for playing father Martin Goodman in Friday Night Dinner alongside Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal, which has run over six series since 2011.

Ritter was also a regular in ITV crime drama Vera, Channel 4 cop show No Offence and appeared in hit HBO series Chernobyl and acclaimed BBC drama The Trial of Christine Keeler last year.

Paul Ritter has died aged 54 from a brain tumour. (Getty Images)
Paul Ritter has died aged 54 from a brain tumour. (Getty Images)

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He has acted in blockbuster movies, including Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Quantum of Solace. He is also well-known for his work in theatre, being nominated for an Olivier award in 2006 for his performance in Coram Boy and for a Tony award for his 2009 starring role in the Norman Conquests.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Paul Ritter, Tom Rosenthal, Simon Bird and Tamsin Greig attend the
Paul Ritter, Tom Rosenthal, Simon Bird and Tamsin Greig starred together in 'Friday Night Dinner' since 2011. (Getty Images)

Tributes have already begin to pour in from his friends and colleagues on social media.

Ray Donovan star Eddie Marsan hailed Ritter as "one of our greatest actors".

He tweeted: "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."

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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.

EastEnders actor Anette Badland wrote: "And now Paul. A fine actor and good company. RIP."

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Luther star Michael Smiley tweeted: "Really sad news, a hero in our house, a brilliant actor, just flawless performances. Friday Night Dinner will never be the same. RIP Paul Ritter. Sending prayers and thoughts to his loved ones."

Watch: Paul Ritter in rom com 'Their Finest'