Paul Ritter, ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Chernobyl’ Actor, Dies at 54

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Paul Ritter, a British actor known for his roles in Chernobyl and Harry Potter, has died, Variety reports. Ritter, who was 54, died of a brain tumor on Monday.

Ritter’s agent first shared the news of his death in a statement released to The Guardian on Tuesday. “It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last night,” the statement read. “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 tumor.

“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.”

While Ritter was known for his role as Anatoly Dyatlov in HBO’s Chernobyl drama, he had countless other credits from his decades of acting, including TV roles in The Walking Dead, Land Girls, Wolf Hall, Belgravia and the British comedy Friday Night Dinner. He also appeared in popular films like Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace. 

Robert Popper, creator of Friday Night Dinner, shared on Twitter that he was “devastated” by the “terribly sad news” of Ritter’s death. “Paul was a lovely, wonderful human being. Kind, funny, super caring and the greatest actor I ever worked with,” he wrote.

Comedian Sanjeev Kohli also shared a Twitter tribute to Ritter, writing, “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.”

Although Ritter carved out a successful career as a TV and film actor, he was also an accomplished theater performer, earning an Olivier nomination in 2006 for “Coram Boy” and a Tony nomination in both 2008 and 2009 for “The Norman Conquests.”

As Ritter’s final role, he will appear posthumously as Bentley Purchase in the WWII drama Operation Mincemeat. 

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