‘Gladiator’ Actor John Shrapnel Dies Aged 77 After Battle With Cancer

John Shrapnel

Gladiator actor John Shrapnel has died aged 77 following a 50-year career on stage and screen.

The married father-of-three played Julia Roberts’s British press agent in the 1999 film Notting Hill, before appearing as Senator Gaius in Gladiator in 2000. 

Birmingham-born Mr Shrapnel was also known for his work in theatre and took many roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

Mr Shrapnel, who lived in Highbury, North London, made his last TV appearance in the 2017 film King Charles III in which he played the Archbishop of Canterbury. He died on Valentine’s Day last Friday after a battle with cancer.

Birmingham-born Mr Shrapnel also appeared as Senator Gaius in Gladiator in 2000
Mr Shrapnel starred as Senator Gaius in Gladiator in 2000

The former Cambridge University student also played John Christie in a double episode of Waking the Dead in 2011, and appeared in two episodes of Midsomer Murders as two characters, in 1998 and 2006. 

He made his professional debut as Claudio in Much Ado Nothing at the Nottingham Playhouse in 1965, with his first film role coming in Nicholas and Alexandra in 1971.

He also played Banquo in Macbeth, Pentheus in the Bacchae and Orsino in Twelfth Night with Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre company at the Old Vic in the 1970s.

Mr Shrapnel even played two different characters in the same Shakespeare play at different theatres 25 years apart – Brutus in 1980 and Julius Caesar in 2005.

He also had movie roles as a dog-hunting taxidermist in 101 Dalmatians film starring Glenn Close in 1996 as well as Nestor in the 2004 movie Troy featuring Brad Pitt.

Mr Shrapnel is survived by his landscape designer wife Francesca Bartley, with whom he had three sons – Joe, Lex and Thomas – after marrying in 1975.

See Also: Spartacus Actor Kirk Douglas Dies Aged 103

source: daily mail

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