British comedian Mel Smith dies at age 60
British comedian and film director Mel Smith has died at the age of 60, according to the BBC. Smith was a cast member of the groundbreaking U.K. sketch show Not the Nine O’Clock News, alongside Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson, and Griff Rhys Jones, with whom Smith formed a long-lasting comedy partnership. In addition to his onscreen performances—which also included small roles in The Princess Bride and National Lampoon’s European Vacation—Smith directed several films, notably 1989’s Richard Curtis-penned The Tall Guy and 1997’s Bean, a showcase for Atkinson’s titular bumbler.
In a statement, Smith’s agent Michael Foster said: “Mel Smith, comedian and writer, died on Friday aged 60, from a heart attack at his home in north west London.”
Those who have paid tribute to Smith include Stephen Fry who earlier today tweeted, “Terrible news about my old friend Mel Smith, dead today from a heart attack. Mel lived a full life, but was kind, funny and wonderful to know.”