Alex Beckett, best known for playing Barney Lumsden in the BBC satirical comedy W1A, has died aged 35.
Beckett’s agent Gavin Denton-Jones confirmed the news in a statement, calling Lumsden “a wonderful man and a hugely talented actor”.
“Our thoughts are with his family and we kindly ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult time,” the statement reads.
The actor was appearing in the Donmar Warehouse’s current production of The Way of the World, the London theatre cancelling the rest of this week’s performances.
Donmar’s artistic director Josie Rourke and executive producer Kate Pakenham said: “We are deeply shocked by the tragic loss of our dear friend and brilliant actor Alex Beckett, a much loved member of The Way of the World company. We are completely devastated by this terribly sad news.”
Beckett played Barney Lumsden, who works for the agency Perfect Curve, in the satirical comedy W1A, as well as in Twenty Twelve, alongside co-stars Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes.
Hynes posted a tribute to Twitter, reading: “Alex Beckett was a wonderful, clever, kind, brilliant person – so glad to have known him, so sad he is gone.”
Shane Allen, comedy commissioner at the BBC, said: “We’re all incredibly crushed to hear of Alex’s untimely death. “He was a very prolific, versatile and much admired comedy star whose role as Barney Lumsden in both Twenty Twelve and W1A was a key ingredient of their success.
“We think of him fondly and our hearts go out to his family and friends at this painfully sad time.”
Born in Carmarthenshire, South Wales, in 1982, Beckett trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, graduating in 2003.