SIR Antony Sher, Honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), and husband of the Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, has died at the age of 72.
Sir Antony was diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier this year and Mr Doran took compassionate leave from his role in September to care for his husband.
Catherine Mallyon, RSC Executive Director and Erica Whyman, Acting Artistic Director, put out a joint statement on the RSC website.
They said: “We are deeply saddened by this news and our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Greg, and with Antony’s family and their friends at this devastating time.
“Antony had a long association with the RSC and a hugely celebrated career on stage and screen. Antony’s last production with the Company was in the two-hander Kunene and The King, written by his friend and fellow South African actor, writer and activist, John Kani.
“Other recent productions at the RSC include King Lear, Falstaff in the Henry IV plays and Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman.
“Earlier landmark performances included Leontes in The Winter’s Tale, Iago in Othello, Prospero in The Tempest and the title roles in Macbeth, Tamburlaine the Great, Peter Flannery’s Singer, Cyrano de Bergerac, as well as his career defining Richard III.
“He also attracted critical acclaim for his performances at the National Theatre in his one man show Primo, Pam Gems’ Stanley (Olivier Award and TONY nominated) and Uncle Vanya with Ian McKellen. In the West End in Torch Song Trilogy (Olivier award winning for this and Richard III), at the Royal Court in Carol Churchill’s Cloud Nine and his first big hit playing Ringo Starr in Willy Russell’s John, Paul, George, Ringo and Bert; and on film in Mrs Brown and on television in Malcolm Bradbury’s The History Man.
“Antony was a widely exhibited artist and author of multiple books including the theatre journals Year of the King, Woza Shakespeare!, co-written with Gregory Doran, four novels including Middlepost, three plays, a television screenplay and his autobiography Beside Myself.
“Antony was deeply loved and hugely admired by so many colleagues. He was a ground-breaking role model for many young actors, and it is impossible to comprehend that he is no longer with us.
“We will ensure friends far and wide have the chance to share tributes and memories in the days to come.”