- 06 Apr 21
Ritter is widely known for portraying the comic hero Martin Ritter in Channel 4's 2011-2020 series 'Friday Night Dinner'.
British actor Paul Ritter has died of a brain tumour at the age of 54, his agent has confirmed.
The star's credits include HBO/Sky drama Chernobyl, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Quantum of Solace and hit Channel 4 comedy Friday Night Dinner.
“It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last night,” Ritter’s agent said.
“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 will be seen in John Madden’s upcoming war drama Operation Mincemeat, starring Colin Firth, and the Friday Night Dinner 10th anniversary retrospective - due to air later this year.
Ritter was also known for his theatre roles, earning an Olivier nomination in 2006 for Coram Boy as well as a Tony in 2009 for The Norman Conquests.
Friday Night Dinner creator Robert Popper offered his condolences this morning on Twitter:
“Devastated at this terribly sad news. Paul was a lovely, wonderful human being. Kind, funny, super caring and the greatest actor I ever worked with.”
Further tributes have poured in from the entertainment industry, with fellow actor Stephen Mangan tweeting:
"Trying to find a way to talk about Paul Ritter and struggling. My friend since we were students together. So much talent and it shone from him even as a teenager. I was so lucky to know him and lucky too to work with him many times over the years. Wonderful man. RIP."
Trying to find a way to talk about Paul Ritter and struggling. My friend since we were students together. So much talent and it shone from him even as a teenager. I was so lucky to know him and lucky too to work with him many times over the years. Wonderful man. RIP.
— Stephen Mangan (@StephenMangan) April 6, 2021
Knocked it out of the PARK in Chernobyl. Watching it I consciously thought, "Oh, we have a new movie star." Between that & how funny he was in Friday Night Dinner... just unreal talent. Rest in peace, Paul Ritter. pic.twitter.com/nw8HnRZxRd
— Rob Delaney (@robdelaney) April 6, 2021
One of my fondest memories of Paul Ritter was filming this scene with him. God he was brilliant. https://t.co/AY4MXn367E
— Robert Popper (@robertpopper) April 6, 2021
A wonderful actor. His unsentimental performance in 'Chernobyl' was a big part of the success of that series. One of my favourite memories from that shoot is laughing around the dinning table listening to his stories. Condolences to his wife and family. https://t.co/QpzulkWDQM
— Jared Harris (@JaredHarris) April 6, 2021
I loved Paul. He was the most brilliant clever and truthful actor. Some of the funniest times of my life was working on night shoots with him on Friday Night Dinner shoving a fox in a car , or watching him stand on a dustbin trying to get a plastic bag off a tree top (1)
— Tracy-Ann Oberman (@TracyAnnO) April 6, 2021
So, so sad to hear this. I was such a fan of Paul Ritter he was absolutely magic, RIP https://t.co/470euDcx9J
— Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) April 6, 2021
I worked with Paul Ritter on Chernobyl. I used to sit in awe of him scene after scene. We would sit and talk and he would gently regale us with stories of his life, his wife, his kids. A good, proud, incredibly funny, intelligent man and one of our finest character actors. #Love
— Con O'Neill (@cononeilluk) April 6, 2021
We are so saddened to hear of the loss of one of our favourite actors Paul Ritter. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues. pic.twitter.com/M2c3imSdRf
— Channel 4 (@Channel4) April 6, 2021