ACTOR Tim Pigott-Smith, who was due to perform in Death of a Salesman at the Oxford Playhouse in July, has died aged 70. 

The actor, best known for his Bafta-winning role in 1984 TV series The Jewel in the Crown, died this morning, his agent revealed.

He was due to appear in a touring production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, with opening night in Northampton on Monday. The play was set to come to the Oxford Playhouse on July 11 

The theatre tweeted to say it was 'devastated' by the news.

A statement from agent John Grant said: “It is with deep regret that I have to announce the sad news that Tim Pigott-Smith died this morning.

“Tim was one of the great actors of his generation. Much-loved and admired by his peers, he will be remembered by many as a gentleman and a true friend.

“He will be much missed. We ask that you respect the privacy of his wife, the actress Pamela Miles, his son Tom and the family.”

Pigott-Smith had already filmed the forthcoming BBC2 drama King Charles III having successfully played the title role in the theatre production on Broadway and in the West End.

The play won the Olivier Award and the Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for best new play and was staged in London and New York, with Pigott-Smith winning rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.

He was nominated for both an Olivier and a Tony Award for his performance.

Pigott-Smith’s memorable television and film roles have included Merrick, the racist police superintendent in the ITV mini-series The Jewel In The Crown, and parts in the movies The Remains Of The Day and Martin Scorsese’s Gangs Of New York, as well as more recent appearances in Bond film Quantum Of Solace and Alice In Wonderland.

Born in Rugby, he trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and took smaller roles until his big break in The Jewel In The Crown.

His distinctive voice made him a popular narrator of documentary series and he lent his voice to Battlefield, a series which examined pivotal battles of the Second World War and the 2007 series Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work.

He had completed production on several films, including 6 Days, a drama about the hostage situation at the Iranian embassy in London in 1980, which also stars Jamie Bell and Mark Strong, and Stephen Frears’s new film Victoria And Abdul, which also stars Olivia Williams, Michael Gambon and Judi Dench and is due for UK release in September.

He is survived by his wife and their son Tom.