Antony Sher death: Gifted stage actor dies aged 72

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Sher in 2015  (Alan Davidson/Shutterstock)
Sher in 2015 (Alan Davidson/Shutterstock)

Sir Antony Sher has died of cancer aged 72.

The double Olivier Award-winning actor, best known for his work performing Shakespeare, was diagnosed with the terminal illness in September.

His husband Gregory Doran, the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, had taken a leave of absence to care for him.

On Friday (3 December), the RSC confirmed the death of Sher, who was the long-running company’s associate artist.

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.

“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.”

Born in Cape Town, Sher was long associated with the RSC, having joined the company in 1982 and appeared in productions including The Tempest, Macbeth and Othello.

Sher as Richard III in the 1984 Royal Shakespeare Company production (Reg Wilson)
Sher as Richard III in the 1984 Royal Shakespeare Company production (Reg Wilson)

His last show with the company came in John Kani’s Kunene and The King in 2019, while he also recently starred in King Lear, the Henry IV plays and Death of a Salesman.

On the big screen, he appeared in the Oscar-winning film Shakespeare in Love and film adaptations of Macbeth and The Winter’s Tale.

In addition, Sher was known for his writing, authoring four novels, an autobiography, three plays, a TV screenplay and theatre journals.

Sher and his director husband Doran, with whom he frequently collaborated, were one of the first gay couples to enter into a civil partnership in the UK in 2005. They married 10 years later in 2015, one year after the first same-sex weddings took place.

During his 2017 Commonwealth Tour, Prince Charles cited Sher as his favourite actor.

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