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'Harry Potter' fame Paul Ritter passes away at 54

Harry Potter fame Paul Ritter passes away at 54

British actor Paul Ritter, whose roles ranged from a hapless suburban patriarch in the sitcom 'Friday Night Dinner' (FND) to a Soviet engineer who helps to cause a nuclear disaster in 'Chernobyl', passed away. He was 54 and had been suffering from a brain tumor.

A familiar face to British television viewers and theatre-goers, Ritter played Martin Goodman, the eccentric father of a London Jewish family, in the acerbic but warm 'Channel 4' sitcom 'Friday Night Dinner'.

The versatile actor also played ill-fated nuclear engineer Anatoly Dyatlov in the Emmy-winning HBO drama 'Chernobyl'; the wizard Eldred Worple in 'Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince' and a devious political operative in the James Bond film 'Quantum of Solace'. Those who worked with Ritter in his most famous roles rated him highly. Robert Popper, the creator of 'Friday Night Dinner', said, "Ritter was a lovely, wonderful human being. Kind, funny, super caring and the greatest actor I ever worked with."

"Ritter was one of the most gentle, gracious and brilliant people I have ever known and much less worked with. We lost him and far too soon. I wish his family and loved ones peace and comfort as they mourn the passing of this beautiful man," tweeted 'Chernobyl' screenwriter Craig Mazin.

The actor was nominated for a Tony Award in 2009 for his performance in 'The Norman Conquests' on Broadway.

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