British acting great Sir Anthony Sher dies aged 72 following cancer battle

Acclaimed British actor, writer and director Sir Anthony Sher has died aged 72. In September he announced he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He is survived by his partner director Gregory Doran.

Sher and Doran collaborated frequently , often working at the Royal Shakespeare Company, where Doran is currently Artistic Director.

Sher’s death was announced on Friday. Catherine Mallyon, RSC Executive Director and Erica Whyman, Acting Artistic Director, who said it was devastating news.

“We are deeply saddened by this news and our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Greg, and with Antony’s family and their friends at this devastating time. Antony had a long association with the RSC and a hugely celebrated career on stage and screen.”

In 2005 Sher and Doran were one of the first couples in Britain to get in  civil partnership, making their commitment of the first day the laws were changed.  The couple married a decade later when full marriage equality was achieved in Britain.

Born into a Lithuanian Jewish family in South Africa, Sher spent his youth in Cape Town. In 1968 he travelled to Britain to audition for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, but was unsuccessful. Instead he studied at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, and then did further study at Manchester University.

In the early 1970’s he was part of Liverpool Everyman’s Theatre where he worked alongside writers Willy Russell and Alan Bleasdale, and actors including Trevor Eve, Julia Walters and Jonathan Pryce. He went on to perform with theatre group Gay Sweatshop, before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1982.

Here he performed many well known works and established himself as one of Britain’s most talented stage actors. He also made his mark in films appearing in Superman II, Yanks, Erik the Viking, Shakespeare in Love and Mrs Brown.

As a writer he published several volumes of memoirs, an autobiography, several novels and books about theatre and paintings. He authored several plays including I.D., Primo and The Giant. 

OIP Staff


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