United Kingdom

Notting Hill star Tony Armatrading dies aged 59 following a battle with cancer

Stage and screen star Tony Armatrading has died aged 59 following a battle with cancer, close friends confirmed on Monday. 

The actor, best known for his roles in Hollywood blockbuster The Saint and popular romantic comedy Notting Hill, was the younger brother of celebrated singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading.  

The news was announced by fellow actor Tim Bentinck in a tribute shared alongside a photograph of Armatrading, taken with devoted wife Suzan Crowley and their pet dog Dash shortly before his death.   

Farewell: Stage and screen star Tony Armatrading has died aged 59 following a battle with cancer, close friends confirmed on Monday 

Captioning the image, he tweeted: 'Very sad news. My dearest friend Tony Armatrading died of cancer an hour ago. 

'I had the privilege of being his best man, and loved him dearly. He was a wonderful actor, and a true friend. This pic of him with Suzy and Dash taken last night.' 

Born in Birmingham on November 30th, 1961, Armatrading began his career a a member of the  Birmingham Repertory Theatre stage crew, becoming Head Flyman at the age of 17. 

Success: The actor memorably featured alongside Hugh Grant in 1999 romantic comedy Notting Hill, playing a security guard on the set of a period drama visited by Grant's character 

Popular: Armatrading also featured in a series of TV shows, among them detective drama A Touch Of Frost 

He went on to join the stage crew at the National Theatre's Lyttelton auditorium, and after obtaining his Equity card appeared in a Royal National Theatre production of Measure for Measure, playing The Messenger. 

The actor enjoyed further success while touring the United Kingdom as Jelly Roll Morton, one of the founding fathers of jazz, in Jelly Roll Soul, before taking a series of roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

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