Friday Night Dinner actor Paul Ritter dies of brain tumour at 54

Paul Ritter was best known for his role as Martin Goodman in the Channel 4 comedy

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Paul Ritter as Marc in Yasmina Reza's Art directed by Matthew Warchus at The Old Vic Theatre on December 16, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Robbie Jack/Corbis via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Robbie Jack/Corbis via Getty Images)

Friday Night Dinner star Paul Ritter has passed away of a brain tumor, his agent has confirmed. 

Ritter, 54, was best known for his role as Martin, the quirky father of the Goodman family in the Channel 4 sitcom. He also starred in a number of blockbuster films, including Quantum of Solace and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He died on Monday in his family home in Kent, surrounded by his wife, Polly, and two sons, Frank and Noah. 

“Devastated at this terribly sad news," said Friday Night Dinner creator Robert Popper. "Paul was a lovely, wonderful human being. Kind, funny, super caring, and the greatest actor I ever worked with.”

Several friends and fans of the late star took to Twitter to express their grief and condolences following the tragic news, and to honor his impressive contribution to the British arts. 

Comedian Rob Delaney lauded Ritter's versatility as an actor, praising his stellar performances in both Friday Night Dinner and the dark mini-series, Chernobyl. "Knocked it out of the PARK in Chernobyl. Watching it I consciously thought, 'Oh, we have a new movie star.' Between that & how funny he was in Friday Night Dinner... just unreal talent," he wrote. 

Ritter was also a highly respected theatre performer, having received a Tony Award in 2009 for his role in the Norman Conquests. 

“Paul was an exceptionally talented actor playing an enormous variety of roles on stage and screen with extraordinary skill," his agent said. "He was fiercely intelligent, kind and very funny. We will miss him greatly.”


Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.