Royal Court actor Paul Bhattacharjee found dead in East Sussex

Paul Bhattacharjee (right), whose suicide has prompted a new initiative to raise awareness of mental health problems in the industry. Photo: Tristram Kenton
Paul Bhattacharjee (right), whose suicide has prompted a new initiative to raise awareness of mental health problems in the industry. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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The body of Paul Bhattacharjee has been found at Splash Point cliffs in East Sussex.

The body was found last Friday, July 12 by Sussex Police, who contacted officers investigating Battacharjee's disappearance, after an appeal was launched. Yesterday afternoon (July 17) the body was identified as being that of Bhattacharjee.

The Metropolitan Police said that next of kin had been informed and the actor's death was not being treated as suspicious.

Bhattacharjee was last seen as he left the Royal Court Theatre in London on Wednesday July 10 after taking part in a rehearsal. He was a member of the Royal Court's weekly rep ensemble as part of the theatre's Open Court season.

The 53-year-old from Redbridge, north-east London, had appeared in a number of productions at the Royal Court and also worked at the National Theatre, Tricycle Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse and the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he appeared at Benedick in its production of Much Ado About Nothing in 2012.

He had also appeared on screen in films including Casino Royal and Dirty Pretty Things and on TV in shows such as Spooks, EastEnders and the Bill.

Speaking on behalf of the Royal Court, artistic director Vicky Featherstone said: “We are deeply shocked and completely devastated at the loss of our dear friend and brilliant colleague. Paul has been such an important part of the world of theatre in so many ways and we shall miss him terribly. We can’t even begin to imagine the impact his loss will have on everyone who knew him and all of our thoughts are with his loved ones."

The RSC's artistic director Gregory Doran also paid tribute to Bhattacharjee.

He said: "Paul was last with us in 2012 playing a soulfully witty Benedick opposite Meera Syal's Beatrice in Iqbal Khan's glorious Much Ado About Nothing set in the Punjab. Paul also played a variety of roles in Dominic Cooke's Arabian Nights in The Courtyard in 2009.

"He was a stalwart member of the Jacobethan season of rare and undiscovered plays by Shakespeare's contemporaries a decade ago; I was lucky enough to direct him as the sinister villain in Fletcher's The Island Princess. Paul was a terrific company member, a powerful, versatile actor of great presence and weight, and a gentleman. He will be sadly missed."

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