Rugby-born actor Pigott-Smith died of natural causes, coroner confirms

There will be no inquest for Rugby-born actor Tim Pigott-Smith as a coroner confirmed he died of natural causes today (Tuesday, May 2).

Tuesday, 2nd May 2017, 3:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:27 pm
Tim Pigott-Smith was due to star in Death of a Salesman in Northampton NNL-170328-114500001
Tim Pigott-Smith was due to star in Death of a Salesman in Northampton NNL-170328-114500001

Coroner for Northamptonshire Anne Pember confirmed she has ruled Mr Pigott-Smith died of natural causes and therefore she will not hold an inquest into his death.

The 70-year-old actor was billed as the lead role in Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman at the Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northampton.

But he was found dead at a private address in Northampton on April 7, three days before opening night.

Mr Pigott-Smith, whose father worked at the Rugby Advertiser, won the BAFTA Award for best actor for his role in the 1984 TV series The Jewel in the Crown.

He also received Olivier and Tony Award nominations for his leading role in Mike Bartlett’s play King Charles III, and he was awarded the OBE for services to drama in the 2017 New Year’s Honours.

His agent John Grant said in a statement in April: “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.”

Following Mr Pigott-Smith’s death, the production of Death of a Salesman has been postponed and will return to Northampton’s Royal & Derngate Theatre in June.

Mr Pigott-Smith appeared in dozens of British television shows over his 50-year career, including Doctor Who, Midsomer Murders and Silent Witness. He also played Sir Philip Tapsell in ITV’s Downton Abbey.

He was also well known for starring in the 1984 British serial drama The Jewel in the Crown, which The Guardian described as a ‘high-water mark of 1980s British TV’.

In an interview with the Northampton Chronicle & Echo in the weeks before his death, Mr Pigott-Smith said: “I have been very lucky with the career that I have had, and the parts I have been asked to play.

“It is just a privilege to be a part of this show. I think it has the most wonderful quality.”