'Friday Night Dinner' Star Paul Ritter Dead at 54
Published Apr 06, 2021Paul Ritter — the actor best known for his crucial role in beloved UK comedy Friday Night Dinner — has died. His agent confirmed today the British actor had passed away on Monday (April 5) of a brain tumour. Ritter was 54.
Serving as an actor both onstage and onscreen, Ritter found later-career fame via the role of Martin in Robert Popper's long-running Channel4 series Friday Night Dinner, in which he starred alongside Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal.
"Devastated at this terribly sad news," Popper stated. "Paul was a lovely, wonderful human being. Kind, funny, super caring and the greatest actor I ever worked with."
Beyond Friday Night Dinner, Ritter had a prolific if under-appreciated career, playing roles in 2019 HBO hit Chernobyl, Quantum of Solace and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, among others.
Ritter also had a distinguished career as a stage actor and was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2006 for his performance in Coram Boy and for a Tony Award for his 2009 role in the Norman Conquests. The actor also played John Major in Stephen Daldry's The Audience.
Ritter's agent stated: "It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last night. 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."
Ritter is due to appear in the 10th anniversary Friday Night Dinner retrospective, which is scheduled air sometime later this year.