Richard E. Grant leads tributes to late John Shrapnel

Richard E. Grant

Richard E. Grant has led tributes to ‘Notting Hill’ and ‘Gladiator’ actor John Shrapnel, who has died at the age of 77.

John was a respected theatre actor but had also appeared in a number of movies, including ‘101 Dalmatians’, ‘The Duchess’ and ‘Alien Autopsy’ and numerous figures from the industry, including Richard, paid tribute.

The ‘Withnail and I’ star tweeted: "Sad to learn that John Shrapnel has died. I played his patient in HOW TO GET AHEAD IN ADVERTISING (1989).

"Generous, kind, funny, and warm hearted. Privileged to have known and worked with him."

Maxine Peake posted a photo with John, who she starred alongside in a theatre production of ‘Hamlet’ and describe him as a "great".

She wrote on Twitter: "We have lost another great. The incomparable John Shrapnel. Honoured to have worked with him. Privileged to have called him a friend."

The National Theatre, where John featured in several plays, also paid tribute to the star.

It said: "We’re very sad to hear the wonderful actor John Shrapnel has died. He performed in many productions at the National Theatre including Phedre – our first @NTLive production."

Director Duncan Jones, the son of music icon David Bowie, recalled how John had agreed to work with him during the early stages of his filmmaking career.

He said: "John was one of a handful of actors, far too talented for my early career, to agree to work with me just after I left film school.

"I made a short film called Whistle, and he agreed to spend a day working on it, elevating my short into something I was later able to enter in festivals & leverage into real, paid work."

John, who had reportedly been suffering from cancer, was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and also had experience as a voiceover actor.

He is survived by his wife Francesca and three children.

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