His death was announced by his agent John Grant. “It is with deep regret that I have to announce the sad news that Tim Pigott-Smith died this morning. Much-loved and admired by his peers, he will be remembered by many as a gentleman and a true friend. He will be much missed. We ask that you respect the privacy of his wife, the actress Pamela Miles, his son Tom and the family.”
“A marvelous, mischievous man,” remembered Downton and Legion star Dan Stevens. Tweeted actor James Purefoy, “A truly lovely actor, a great company man and a real gentleman.”
Pigott-Smith, who won the 1985 BAFTA best actor award for his performance as police superintendent Ronald Merrick in The Jewel in the Crown, was a beloved, classically trained star of British television. He appeared in the 1990s series The Chief, Doctor Who, Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years, Bloody Sunday, North and South, Midsomer Murders, The Hour, The Vice and Inspector Lewis, and Decline and Fall, to name just a very few.
On the big screen, Pigott-Smith appeared in such films as The Clash of the Titans, Alexander, V for Vendetta, The Four Feathers, Gangs of New York, The Remains of the Day and Quantum of Solace.
The actor’s long history on the stage was capped, at least in America, with his Tony-nominated lead role in 2015’s King Charles III.
“Pigott-Smith’s face betrays every flicker of emotion, from elation to determination and shocking defeat,” wrote Deadline’s theater critic Jeremy Gerard, “his body the slowly hunching posture of a man whose dream is fast turning into nightmare. The actor will stay in your mind long after his crumpled, prone body has been consumed by the mob not outside, but within his rarefied circle.”
A BBC Two telefilm version of King Charles III, with Pigott-Smith reprising his role, has been filmed for airing later this year.
At the time of his death, the actor was preparing for a British touring production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, co-starring his wife, Pamela Miles, who survives him, along with son Tom.