Photo credit: Antony Sher in Kunene and the King (Photo courtesy of Kunene and the King)

Antony Sher has died aged 72

The actor was awarded a knighthood in 2000.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced the death of Sir Antony Sher, aged 72. Sher was diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier this year, and was being cared for by husband, Royal Shakespeare Company artistic director Gregory Doran.

In a joint statement, Catherine Mallyon, RSC executive director and Erica Whyman, acting artistic director said: "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. Antony's last production with the Company was in the two-hander Kunene and The King, written by his friend and fellow South African actor, writer and activist, John Kani. 

Other recent productions at the RSC include King Lear, Falstaff in the Henry IV plays and Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. Earlier landmark performances included Leontes in The Winter's Tale, Iago in Othello, Prospero in The Tempest and the title roles in Macbeth, Tamburlaine the Great, Peter Flannery's Singer, Cyrano de Bergerac, as well as his career defining Richard III. 

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. We will ensure friends far and wide have the chance to share tributes and memories in the days to come."

During his career, Sher won the Olivier Award for Best Actor twice: Richard II and Torch Song Trilogy in 1985, and Stanley in 1997. In 2000, he was awarded a knighthood for services to acting and writing. 

Photo credit: Antony Sher in Kunene and the King (Photo courtesy of Kunene and the King)


Originally published on

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