Celebrated stage actor Antony Sher died at the age of 72 after a battle with terminal cancer, the Royal Shakespeare Company announced on Friday.
Acting artistic director Catherine Mallyon 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.”
The Olivier Award-winning actor was born in Cape Town. Sher joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1982 and appeared in productions including “The Tempest”, “Macbeth”, and “Othello”.
His last show with the company was John Kani’s Kunene and “The King” in 2019, while he also recently starred in “King Lear”, “Henry IV” plays, and “Death of a Salesman”.
When it comes to the big screen, the star appeared in the Oscar-winning film “Shakespeare in Love” and film adaptations of “Macbeth” and “The Winter’s Tale”.
During his 2017 Commonwealth Tour, Prince Charles referred to Sher as his favourite actor.
Heartfelt tributes have poured in from fellow actors and artists following the news of the legendary stage performer’s death.
Harriet Walter, an honorary associate artist at the Royal Shakespeare Company, said: “On stage, he was a powerhouse, bold and uncompromising. Offstage he was surprisingly unassuming, private and unostentatious. He could also be wickedly funny.
“I so enjoyed working with him and watching him work and feel so sad that I won’t have that pleasure again.”
Actor and playwright John Kani said: “We travelled together as compatriots, comrades in the struggle for a better South Africa, as fellow artists and we both had the honour of celebrating together 25 years of South Africa’s Democracy in my latest play Kunene and the King.
“I am at peace with you my friend and myself. Exit my King. Your Brother.”
Actor Mark Rylance said: “I first saw Tony’s work as an actor in the theatre with Mike Leigh and was captivated by his immersion and definition as an actor.
“In 1982 we both joined the RSC and became friends. I remember his infectious laugh and sense of humour most.
“His meticulous artwork and visual imagination. He was always most generous and kind to me. A gentleman and devoted man of the theatre. A great loss.”