The actor Alex Beckett, who played Barney Lumsden from Perfect Curve in BBC comedy W1A – has died suddenly, his agent has confirmed.
Beckett, 35, was also known for his theatre work and had been starring in The Way of the World at the Donmar Warehouse since last month.
The rest of this week’s shows have been cancelled as a mark of respect. He was described by acting agent Gavin Denton-Jones as “a wonderful man and a hugely talented actor”.
He added: “Our thoughts are with his family and we kindly ask that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.”
The Welsh actor had been playing Waitwell in the restoration comedy by William Congreve, first performed in 1700.
It opened to positive reviews last week, having been in previews since 29 March. It is due to run until 26 May.
Shane Allen, controller of comedy commissioning at the BBC, said: “We’re all incredibly crushed to hear of Alex’s untimely death.
“He was a very prolific, versatile and much admired comedy star whose role as Barney Lumsden in both Twenty Twelve and W1A was a key ingredient of their success.
“We think of him fondly and our hearts go out to his family and friends at this painfully sad time.”
In W1A and Twenty Twelve, Beckett’s character was part of the quirky brand consultancy agency Perfect Curve, led by Jessica Hynes, who played PR Siobhan Sharpe.
Hynes said she was “so sad he is gone”.