Wednesday 18 October 2017

Missing actor's body found: police

Police have said that Paul Bhattacharjee's body has been found
Police have said that Paul Bhattacharjee's body has been found

Tributes have poured in for "gifted" and "deep thinking" 007 star Paul Bhattacharjee, whose body was found near cliffs two days after he disappeared.

The 53-year-old, who starred in Bond film Casino Royale and EastEnders, was last seen leaving rehearsals at the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square, London on July 10.

His body was found near cliffs at Splash Point in Seaford, East Sussex, on Friday. The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Stars and colleagues have paid their respects for the star, who also appeared in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, White Teeth and Dirty Pretty Things.

Meera Syal, who appeared alongside him in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Much Ado about Nothing, said: "Paul was an incredibly gifted versatile and generous actor but also complex, deep thinking, engagingly opinionated and politically committed as a personality, truly wonderful to share a stage with.

"I don't think any of us who saw him recently or were working with him had any idea this awful tragedy was going to happen. We are all sending our love and prayers to his family and partner."

Tributes were also paid on Twitter, with director Jamie Lloyd writing: "Very sad to hear about the death of Paul Bhattacharjee. He was a very fine actor. My thoughts are with his family."

Muzz Khan, who appeared in Much Ado About Nothing alongside the late actor, said: "Rest In Peace, Paul Bhattacharjee. I can't believe you're gone, mate."

Playwright Duncan Gates wrote: "'When you depart from me sorrow abides and happiness takes his leave'. RIP Paul Paul Bhattacharjee" while actor Rick Warden wrote: "Having a bad time with the news about friend and colleague Paul Bhattacharjee's death. An intelligent & charismatic man. Very sad."

Mr Bhattacharjee was due to appear in this week's play Talk Show at the Royal Court. His role in the play, which began on Tuesday, was recast.

The theatre's artistic director Vicky Featherstone said she and her colleagues were "deeply shocked and completely devastated at the loss of our dear friend and brilliant colleague."

Following his disappearance, friends and family made pleas for his safe return.

His son Rahul Bhattacharjee-Prashar, 24, told the Evening Standard the disappearance was "completely out of character".

Following his disappearance, Bend It Like Beckham actress Parminder Nagra, Sex in the City star Kim Cattrall and Stephen Fry - who went missing for a week in 1995 - appealed to their followers for information about the actor.

Mr Bhattacharjee played a doctor in Casino Royale in 2006 and was in several episodes of EastEnders as Masood's brother Inzamam between 2008 and 2010. Other television credits for the actor included Waking the Dead, Spooks and The Bill.

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