Mel Smith has died.
British comedian Mel Smith, who became a household name for a series of television sketch shows in the 1970s and 80s which colleagues said had inspired a generation of comics, has died of a heart attack, his agent said overnight (NZ time).
Smith, who died yesterday (NZ time) aged 60, found fame starring in hugely popular shows Not The Nine O’clock News and Alas Smith and Jones and went on to direct the films Bean and The Tall Guy.
“I still can’t believe this has happened,” said Griff Rhys Jones, his comedy partner in his best-known TV shows.
“To everybody who ever met him, Mel was a force for life. He was a gentleman and a scholar, a gambler and a wit.”