‘Chernobyl’ and ‘Harry Potter’ actor Paul Ritter dies at 54

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LONDON (AP) — Versatile British actor Paul Ritter, who appeared in the “Harry Potter” franchise and played a key figure behind nuclear disaster in “Chernobyl,” has died, his agent said Tuesday. He was 54 and had been suffering from a brain tumor.

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 09: Paul Ritter attends the “Friday Night Dinner” photocall at Curzon Soho on March 09, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

A familiar face to British television viewers and theatergoers, Ritter played Martin Goodman, the eccentric father of a London Jewish family, in the Channel 4 sitcom “Friday Night Dinner.”

He also played ill-fated nuclear engineer Anatoly Dyatlov in the HBO drama “Chernobyl;” the wizard Eldred Worple in “Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince;” and appeared as a devious political operative in the James Bond film “Quantum of Solace.”

Ritter was a regular cast member in productions at Britain’s National Theatre, and his stage roles also included “Art” at London’s Old Vic and Prime Minister John Major in royal drama “The Audience.”

He was nominated for a Tony Award in 2009 for his performance in Alan Ayckbourn’s farce “The Norman Conquests” on Broadway.

Agency Markham, Froggatt & Irwin said Ritter died Monday night “peacefully at home with his wife Polly and sons Frank and Noah by his side.”

“Paul was an exceptionally talented actor playing an enormous variety of roles on stage and screen with extraordinary skill,” the agency said. “He was fiercely intelligent, kind and very funny. We will miss him greatly.”

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