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Actor Larrington Walker dies aged 70

Larrington Walker in Antony and Cleopatra at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2011. Photo: Ellie Kurttz

Tributes have been paid to the actor Larrington Walker, who has died aged 70.

Lenny Henry, who co-starred with the Jamaican-born Walker in Rudy’s Rare Records on BBC Radio 4 and at the Birmingham Rep and Hackney Empire in 2014, tweeted: “One of the best has gone. Rest easy Larry. Xx.”

Danny Robbins, co-writer with Henry of Rudy’s Rare Records, said: “Larrington Walker was one of the good guys. A true gentleman who made me laugh a lot. Can’t believe he’s gone.”

Since arriving in Britain in 1956, Walker had established himself as a familiar face on television, appearing in Ian Kennedy Martin’s The Chinese Detective, Barrie Keeffe’s Waterloo Sunset, Casualty, Doctors and, most recently, alongside Tom Hardy in Taboo.

His London theatre appearances included the Braham Murray-directed musical Fire Angel at Her Majesty’s Theatre in 1977, Nicholas Wright’s One Fine Day at Riverside Studios in 1980 and Mustapha Matura’s Playboy of the West Indies at the Tricycle Theatre in 2004.

He spent three seasons with the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2008 and was remembered by former artistic director Michael Boyd as “a joy to watch and to work with”.

He added: “He had the luminous presence on stage of a generous man who was easy in his own skin… He had swagger and the audience sat forward in their seats when he entered, charmed by his warm-toned voice and engaged by his genuine relish for real communication. He made Shakespeare seem easy.”

Walker was also co-deviser with Clarke Peters of Let There Be Love – A Tribute to Nat King Cole, at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1994, which transferred to the Garrick Theatre as Unforgettable in 1995.

A full obituary will appear in a future edition of The Stage.