Harry Potter And Chernobyl Actor Paul Ritter Is Dead At 54

Paul Ritter in Chernobyl

British actor Paul Ritter has died. American audiences may know him best from a handful of TV and movie projects, including HBO's Chernobyl and for playing Eldred Worple in Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. The actor was only 54 years of age at the time of his death.

Reports broke on Tuesday that Paul Ritter had died on Monday evening after suffering from a brain tumor. The news was confirmed by his agent, who told Deadline the actor passed away peacefully while at home with his wife and two sons. A longer note about the circumstances surrounding the actor's death from his agent also noted:

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 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.

A notable actor of both stage and screen, Paul Ritter was known for film, stage and TV projects on both sides of the pond. In the U.K. he was a major part of Channel 4's Friday Night Dinner and was known for work in Cold Feet, No Offense and much, much more. On the big screen, he'd played many memorable characters. He had a gig in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and had also appeared in another major franchise: that of Bond, James Bond. In 2008's Quantum of Solace, Paul Ritter had played Guy Haines, an advisor who was key to getting the plot rolling that particular 007 outing. He'd also played Anatoly Dyatlov in four episodes of HBO's surprise hit Chernobyl.

On the stage, Paul Ritter also had taken on various roles and had landed a nomination for a Tony Award with Norman Conquests back in 2009. His final role will be opposite Colin Firth in the upcoming WWII movie Operation Mincemeat. Various pals and colleagues have spoken warmly about knowing Ritter since the news broke, including Episodes actor Stephen Mangan, who paid tribute and explained they'd been pals for a very long time.

Prior to his passing, Paul Ritter had not been open about any health battles, so the news is surely sending shockwaves through his professional sphere. We've lost far too many too soon over the last year, and this has been yet another blow to the world of entertainment, and of course to those who knew and loved Ritter the most. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.