John Sessions, best known for his work as a panellist on improvisational comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? has died aged 67.
The comedian and actor died yesterday (November 2) from a heart condition, his agent Alex Irwin confirmed.
“It is with great sadness we can confirm that on Monday 2nd November, the actor John Sessions died at his home in South London. He will be hugely missed,” Irwin said in a statement.
Born John Marshall in Largs, Scotland in 1953, Sessions rose to prominence in Channel 4’s Porterhouse Blue before showing off his explosive talent on Whose Line Is It Anyway?
The Ayrshire-born comic was also known for his work on Stella Street, a spoof soap opera about megastars including Keith Richards, Joe Pesci and Roger Moore, and for providing voices on Spitting Image – the only person to both provide impressions and be featured as a puppet on the satirical show.
Sessions was a panelist on QI – appearing on the show’s ever episode – and also starred in films including Gangs Of New York, Five Children And It and Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V.
Paying tribute, broadcaster Danny Baker called Sessions “terrific company” and “a true talent”.
“His roles at the heart of this, my favourite radio series, have given endless pleasure to me and will continue to do so always,” Baker added.
Satirist Michael Spicer called him “a character actor with such extraordinary range and so very, very funny”, while comedian Jack Dee said Session was “a delightful, funny, generous and hugely gifted man”.
Shocked to hear that John Sessions has died at 67. Terrific company always and a true talent. His roles at the heart of this, my favourite radio series, have given endless pleasure to me and will continue to do so always. Travel easy, chum… pic.twitter.com/S4OHEUV3vR
— Danny Baker (@prodnose) November 3, 2020
A comedy hero of mine. A character actor with such extraordinary range and so very, very funny. I loved John Sessions, I did. Loved him. pic.twitter.com/oZxFoxYO1L
— Michael Spicer (@MrMichaelSpicer) November 3, 2020
RIP John Sessions. A delightful, funny, generous and hugely gifted man.
— Jack Dee (@TheRealJackDee) November 3, 2020
Sessions starred in a string of his own BBC TV shows, such as a self-titled solo improvisation series in the late 1980s, followed by John Sessions’s Tall Tales and John Sessions’s Likely Stories.
His other TV credits included Victoria, The Loch, Just William, Tom Jones: A Foundling, and Gormenghast.
Known for his incredible impressions, QI paid tribute to Sessions by sharing his infamous impersonation of Alan Rickman.
And an Alan Rickman impersonation like no other. https://t.co/uO2PaPAHav
— Quite Interesting (@qikipedia) November 3, 2020
See more tributes to Sessions below.
Bobby Ball and now John Sessions! Two very different performers who both absolutely inspired and delighted me at different times. Lovely, funny men.
— Robert Webb (@arobertwebb) November 3, 2020
Jeez. Another one. John Sessions. Just the best, he’d blow everyone away on Whose Line with his speed of thought & breadth of reference. Utterly absorbed by Hollywood, its characters and stories, brilliant raconteur, genius mimic. A flash of brilliance just went out.
— Rory Bremner (@rorybremner) November 3, 2020
So sad to hear that John Sessions has passed away. To work with him was to be both creatively inspired and yet supported and encouraged at every turn. That’s because he was a kind, gentle and funny genius of an actor. RIP you lovely, lovely man. pic.twitter.com/lakFKMSIMZ
— Eddie Marsan (@eddiemarsan) November 3, 2020
Shit shit shit. Hate that John Sessions has gone. World so much better with him in it.
Lucky to work with him several times. Brain the size of Swindon. So full of life and stories and contradictions and possibilities and love for the job of acting.
Goodnight, dear man x pic.twitter.com/O2EgW8TpJi
— Samuel West (@exitthelemming) November 3, 2020
Dear God, no! He phoned me the other day to check in and tell me that he’s there if I ever need him. What an absolute diamond of a man. Always there for you. Absolutely hilarious. Always kind, always gentle. What a lovely friend. Goodnight dear John. #johnsessions
— Laurence Fox (@LozzaFox) November 3, 2020
So shocking to see news of the death of John Sessions. Years ago I went to see his one man show about the painter Frederic Leighton. A typically virtuoso and eccentric project… pic.twitter.com/4oTptc3ulW
— Matthew Sweet (@DrMatthewSweet) November 3, 2020
John Sessions starred on Whose Line. My first episode 1989. I asked him which glasses to wear. He replied, "Those are a bit ornithological convention in Omaha." I wore these. He was a inimitable.#johnsessions pic.twitter.com/mQ1D27kpNo
— Greg "Wear Your Mask" Proops (@GregProops) November 3, 2020
Brilliant man. RIP John Sessions. https://t.co/ZyQtUwAJFo
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) November 3, 2020