Comedian and actor, John Sessions, known best for his various comedy roles, has died aged 67. In a statement, his agent said the star died at home in south London from a heart condition.
The TV comedy legend, was known as a regular panellist on Whose Line Is It Anyway? and appeared on QI and Have I Got News for You.
Born in 1953, he attended RADA in the late 1970s and studied alongside Kenneth Branagh before working on cult comedy shows Spitting Image – where he was the only person to both provide impressions and be featured as a puppet on the satirical show – and Stella Street.
His one-man stage show Napoleon ran in the West End for a number of years in the mid-1980s, while his TV show John Sessions was filmed at the Donmar Warehouse in 1989 before a live audience who were invited to nominate a person, a location and two objects from a selection, around which Sessions would improvise a surreal performance for the next half-hour.
In 2013, he starred in the premiere production of Longing, opposite Iain Glen and Tamsin Greig at the Hampstead Theatre, and before that had played the role of Daniel in Kevin Elyot’s breakthrough play, My Night With Reg at the Royal Court which was then transferred to the West End and filmed for the BBC. He also took the titular role in Peter Hall’s Tartuffe.
Sessions has performed at many other venues including Chichester Festival Theatre, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Almeida, the Bush Theatre, Liverpool Everyman and the Royal Exchange.
He also appeared in a variety of Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespeare films, playing Macmorris in Henry V and Salerio in The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons.
Paying tribute, comedian Sanjeev Bhaskar said: he was “always warm and fun company and amazing improvability”.
The team behind the panel show, QI, said: “His incredible wit and encyclopaedic knowledge played a huge part in the show’s history and everyone at QI is deeply saddened to learn of his passing.”