Paul Ritter, ‘James Bond’ and ‘Harry Potter’ Actor, Dies at 54

by Matthew Wilson

The United Kingdom has lost one of its darlings. Character actor Paul Ritter, known for “Harry Potter” and “James Bond,” has passed away following a fight with cancer.

Deadline reported that the actor passed away on Monday, April 5. The actor was only 54-years-old. Prior to his death, Ritter had been battling a brain tumor. In a press release, Ritter’s agent mourned the actor and commented on his legacy on-screen and on the stage.

“It is with great sadness we can confirm that Paul Ritter passed away last night,” the agent told Deadline. “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.”

Paul Ritter and His Career

Paul Ritter was always busy as an actor, appearing in a number of TV productions. He starred in the 2019 critically acclaimed miniseries “Chernobyl” as Anatoly Dyatlov. He also appeared in dramas such as “Vera” and “No Offence” as well. But Ritter’s best-known role involved the actor bringing out his eccentric side. He played the wacky and often shirtless Martin Goodman on the Channel 4 sitcom “Friday Night Dinner.”

The British sitcom involved Ritter’s character hosting his co-stars for a Friday evening meal. Usually, hilarity and chaos followed such occasions. The show was a hit across the pond thanks in part to Ritter’s performance. The actor is scheduled to make a final appearance later this year in a look back at the show.

Harry Potter and James Bond fans may also recognize Ritter. The actor appeared in the sixth installment “Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince” as Eldred Worple. It was a small role for the actor, appearing in a single scene at a Christmas party. Meanwhile, Ritter also appeared in “Quantum of Solace” as well. Ritter will star alongside Colin Firth in the upcoming WWII drama “Operation Mincemeat.”

Besides a career in film and television, Ritter will also be remembered for his work on the stage. The actor played John Major in a production of Stephen Daldry’s “The Audience.” He received several recognitions for his stage work. For instance, his performance in “Norman Conquests” earned him a Tony Award in 2009. And he received an Olivier Award nomination in 2006 for “Coram Boy.”

Fans of the actor will miss his performances and characters.