British actor John Shrapnel, who played in Notting Hill and Gladiator, dies at the age of 77 after the fight against cancer
- Married father of three played Julia Roberts’ British press agent in Notting Hill
- Birmingham-born actor also appeared as senator Gaius in Gladiator in 2000
- Known for his work in the theater and fulfilled roles at Royal Shakespeare Company
- Resident of North London died on Valentine’s Day after a battle with cancer
Veteran stage and screen actor John Shrapnel, pictured in 1996, died at the age of 77
Notting Hill and Gladiator actor John Shrapnel died at the age of 77 after a 50-year career on stage and on the screen.
The married father of three played Julia Roberts’ British press agent in the 1999 Notting Hill film, before appearing in 2000 as Senator Gaius in Gladiator.
Birmingham-born Mr Shrapnel was also known for his work in the theater and held many positions with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theater.
Shrapnel, who lived in Highbury, North London, made his last TV appearance in the 2017 King Charles III movie in which he played the Archbishop of Canterbury. He died last Friday on Valentine’s Day after a fight with cancer.
Former student of Cambridge University, Mr. Shrapnel, made his professional debut as Claudio in Much Ado Nothing at the Nottingham Playhouse in 1965.
He also played Banquo in Macbeth, Pentheus in Bacchae and Orsino in Twelfth Night with Laurence Olivier’s National Theater company in the Old Vic in the 1970s.
John Shrapnel played Julia Roberts’ British press agent in the 1999 Notting Hill movie
Mr Shrapnel, born in Birmingham, also appeared as senator Gaius in Gladiator in 2000
Mr. Shrapnel even played two different characters in the same Shakespeare game in different theaters, 25 years apart – Brutus in 1980 and Julius Caesar in 2005.
He also played a role as a taxidermist on dog hunting in the 101 Dalmatian film with Glenn Close in 1996 and Nestor in the film Troy with Brad Pitt from 2004.
Among those who praised Mr. Shrapnel when news of his death was revealed yesterday, actor Richard E. Grant tweeted, “Sad to hear that John Shrapnel died.
“I played his patient in How To Ahead In Advertising, 1989. Generous, kind, funny, and warm-hearted. Privilege to have known him and worked with him. “
Actress Maxine Peake posted a photo of her with Mr Shrapnel and mother country star Diane Morgan, tweeting: ‘We have lost another big one. The incomparable John Shrapnel. Honored to have worked with him. Privilege to have called him a friend. “
And director Nick Murphy said: ‘In my first film, John Shrapnel was like a dry, atheistic pastor. A very sweet man and a beautiful actor. I’m so sorry to hear of his death. REST IN PEACE.’
A spokesman for his agent Curtis Brown Actors said: We are deeply saddened by the death of client John Shrapnel. He was a force of nature on the screen and on stage. He was very loved and will be greatly missed. “
Shrapnel is survived by his landscape designer, Francesca Bartley, with whom he had three sons – Joe, Lex and Thomas – after the marriage in 1975.