Actor Tim Pigott-Smith dies aged 70

The veteran actor was best known for his role in 'The Jewel In The Crown', but also had parts in 'Gangs of New York' and 'V For Vendetta'

The actor Tim Pigott-Smith has died, aged 70.

Pigott-Smith was best known for his break-out television role as Lt Col Ronald Merrick in the miniseries Jewel In The Crown, which aired in 1984. He won a best actor BAFTA for the part the following year, beating co-stars Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) and Art Malik.

Born in Rugby in 1946, Pigott-Smith trained as an actor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and began his acting career at the theatre in 1969.

Amidst a diverse and lengthy career, his TV roles included spots in Doctor Who (where he played Marco), Winston Churchilll: The Wilderness Years and Downton Abbey (Sir Philip Tapsell). On film, Pigott-Smith had roles in the likes of V For Vendetta, Gangs of New York, Alice in Wonderland and Quantum of Solace.

The late actor was also working on a TV version of a play that imagines Prince Charles’ accession to the throne, titled King Charles III. It is set to broadcast on the BBC later this year.

In a statement, Pigott-Smith’s agent John Grant lauded him as “one of the greatest actors of his generation.”

“It is with deep regret that I have to announce the sad news that Tim Pigott-Smith died this morning. Much-loved and admired by his peers, he will be remembered by many as a gentleman and a true friend. He will be much missed.

“We ask that you respect the privacy of his wife, the actress Pamela Miles, his son Tom and the family.”