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Hampstead: Actor, campaigner and ‘gentleman’ Tim Pigott-Smith dies

PUBLISHED: 18:39 07 April 2017 | UPDATED: 18:56 07 April 2017

Acclaimed actor Tim Pigott-Smith has died.       Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Acclaimed actor Tim Pigott-Smith has died. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Actor and Hampstead campaigner Tim Pigott-Smith has died at the age 70.

The much-loved thespian lived in Hampstead.        Picture: Ian West/PA ArchiveThe much-loved thespian lived in Hampstead. Picture: Ian West/PA Archive

In a career spanning nearly 50 years, Mr Pigott-Smith starred in the likes of Doctor Who, The Remains of the Day, The Vice, Bloody Sunday, The Jewel in the Crown and Downton Abbey.

One of his campaigns in Hampstead was against the expansion of the Royal Free Hospital, near where he lived.

His agent, John Grant, said in a statement that he was “one of the great actors of his generation”.

He added: “Much-loved and admired by his peers, he will be remembered by many as a gentleman and a true friend.”

He was opposed to the expansion of the Royal Free Hospital.   Picture: Myung Jung Kim/PA WireHe was opposed to the expansion of the Royal Free Hospital. Picture: Myung Jung Kim/PA Wire

The sad news comes just four months after he was awarded an OBE for services to drama in the 2017 New Year’s Honours.

He had also just finished filming his title-role performance in King Charles III.

Mr Pigott-Smith was well known for his Shakespearean performances, wowing crowds alongside the likes of Judi Dench, Helen Mirren and Patrick Stewart.

He also starred alongside his role model, Ian McKellan, in Hamlet.

He was given an OBE in the New Year's Honours.          Picture: Yui Mok/PA WireHe was given an OBE in the New Year's Honours. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Of Mr McKellan, he said: “He generously suggested one or two technical things I could do to develop my voice and breathing.

“I have never got over the fact that this man, with – let’s face it – enough on his plate, climbed three floors to talk to me, to help me. He could have been resting.

“It was a great act of kindness.”

His TV career began in 1971 with a role in the film Boswell’s Life of Johnson, and was followed with roles in a screen production of Measure for Measure and the series Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years.

Later in his career, he had roles in the likes of Johnny English, V for Vendetta, Silent Witness and Lewis.

In 1972 he married actress Pamela Miles and had one child, Tom, a violinist who now has children of his own.

Both husband and wife were set to play heartbreaking couple Willy and Linda Loman in a Northampton production of Death Of A Salesman, due to open just days after he died.

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