Chernobyl and Harry Potter actor Paul Ritter dies at 54

Paul Ritter
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Paul Ritter, the British actor who played Eldred Worple in Harry Potter and recently starred as the family patriarch in the sitcom Friday Night Dinner, has died of a brain tumor at the age of 54.

"It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last night,” a statement from his agent, released to The Guardian, reads. “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," the statement continues. "He was fiercely intelligent, kind and very funny. We will miss him greatly."

Along with a role in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Ritter was well known for his portrayal of Guy Haines in Quantum of Solace and the engineer Anatoly Dyatlov in HBO's Chernobyl. 

He recently portrayed Martin Goodman in the sitcom Friday Night Dinner, starring alongside Tamsin Greig, Simon Bird, and Tom Rosenthal. Ritter will appear in the show's 10th-anniversary retrospective, which will air later this year. His last film role will be in the World War 2 drama Operation Mincemeat, alongside Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, and Kelly Macdonald.

Ritter was also an accomplished stage actor, having won the Olivier award in 2006 for a performance in Coram Boy, an adaptation of the children's novel by Jamila Gavin, and for a Tony award for his role in 2009's Norman Conquests.

Jack Shepherd
Freelance Journalist

Jack Shepherd is the former Senior Entertainment Editor of GamesRadar. Jack used to work at The Independent as a general culture writer before specializing in TV and film for the likes of GR+, Total Film, SFX, and others. You can now find Jack working as a freelance journalist and editor.