The body of Paul Bhattacharjee, who had been missing since last Wednesday, has been found at Splash Point cliffs in Seaford.
Bhattacharjee, who had been performing in the weekly rep company as part of the Royal Court’s Open Court summer season, had last been seen leaving the Sloane Square venue on Wednesday evening.
Police in Sussex contacted the Metropolitan Police yesterday morning to inform them they had found a body matching Bhattacharjee’s description.
Earlier this week friends and colleagues were alerted to the fact that Bhattacharjee was missing, with concern spreading throughout the industry.
Speaking on behalf of the Royal Court theatre, 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 53-year-old actor may be best known for his screen performance as Inzamam Ahmed in EastEnders or for film roles including Casino Royale and Dirty Pretty Things, but he was also a stage regular whose name in a cast list, says the Guardian’s long standing critic Michael Billington, “gave you the reassuring sense that you were in safe hands”.
He had previously appeared at the Royal Court in productions including Disconnect, Blood and Iranian Nights and in two of the Tricycle theatre’s play cycles, The Bomb: A Partial History and The Great Game: Afghanistan. For Complicite he starred in the acclaimed A Disappearing Number, for the National Theatre, Playing With Fire, and for the Royal Shakespeare Company productions including Arabian Nights, the Jacobean season and, most recently, opposite Meera Syal in the India-set production of Much Ado About Nothing.
Adding his voice to the many paying tribute to the actor, the RSC’s Artistic Director Gregory Doran said: “It is with profound sadness that we heard last night of the tragic death of Paul Bhattacharjee. Paul was a terrific company member, a powerful, versatile actor of great presence and weight, and a gentleman. He will be sadly missed.”
The police are not treating his death as suspicious.