Helen Mirren mourns demise of British actor Antony Sher

Washington: Helen Mirren has mourned the loss of British stage and film actor Antony Sher, who recently died on Thursday at the age of 72.

According to People magazine, the 76-year-old Oscar winner, in a statement, shared an emotional tribute to Sher on Friday, “I am devastated to hear of the death of Antony Sher. The theater has lost a brilliant light.”

She went on to recall first meeting Sher in the mid-1970s, writing, “I will never forget the moment I met the actor in Antony. We were doing the first reading rehearsal of the play ‘Teeth and Smiles’ by David Hare. Antony was a comparatively unknown actor at the time. We were buried in our scripts.”

“I read the first words of our scene together and he answered. I raised my eyes above the pages to look at him more precisely, as with simply those minimal words I immediately realized I was opposite a great actor,” the ‘Woman In Gold’ actor added.

Mirren said, “Of course he went on to become the celebrated artist he was, but the extraordinary ability was born in him, as natural to him as breathing: it was as clear as a summer sky.”

Sher, who was knighted by the British Empire in 2000 for services to theater, was commemorated on Friday by the Royal Shakespeare Company, which said the respected actor died after being diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier this year.

“Antony was deeply loved and hugely admired by so many colleagues. He was a ground-breaking role model for many young actors, and it is impossible to comprehend that he is no longer with us,” the statement read in part.

In addition to his celebrated and Tony-nominated stage career, Sher will be remembered for having played Dr. Moth in 1998’s Oscar-winning Best Picture ‘Shakespeare in Love’, along with roles in ‘Mrs Brown’ and ‘The Wolfman’.

Others to pay tribute to the late actor have included Patrick Stewart and Mark Rylance. As per People magazine, Sher is survived by his husband Gregory Doran, artistic director for the Royal Shakespeare Company.