Comic actor and writer Mel Smith has died at the age of 60. His agent has confirmed today that the British TV legend died of a heart attack.
Anyone aged 30 and up will likely remember him from his years of TV work with Griff Rhys Jones on their sketch show Smith and Jones. Smith formed a lasting partnership with co-performer Jones with whom he set up the independent television company, Talkback Productions. In 1987, Smith also added to his list of achievements when he recorded a single with Kim Wilde for Comic Relief. The cover of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree reached number three in the UK charts.
A statement was released today on behalf on his wife, Pam.
“Mel Smith, comedian and writer, died on Friday aged 60, from a heart attack at his home in north west London.”
Many of his friends and colleagues from the British TV industry have paid tribute to Smith, most notably Stephen Fry who wrote
“Terrible news about my old friend Mel Smith, dead today from a heart attack. Mel lived a full life, but was kind, funny and wonderful to know.”
Mel Smith was one of the defining TV comedy greats of the 80s and 90s and we at the Palace of Wisdom would like to add our deepest sympathies to the family. The last piece of Smith’s work I have the pleasure of watching was a guest role in Hustle a couple of year back, he was brilliant as an East End gangster, a more straight role then he is famous for but that just shows what a great actor he was.
As tribute to a great comic actor, here’s one of my favourites from the Smith and Jones sketch show.