Stage and screen stars have paid tribute to a fellow film and TV actor who died just before Christmas aged 58.

Ronan Vibert was in movies such as Saving Mr Banks, the Lara Croft film The Cradle of Life starring Angelina Jolie, and the TV series The Borgias.

Richard E Grant described the death of “my friend” as shocking, and Kathy Burke called him “lovely”.

Vibert, who was born in Cambridgeshire and grew up in the Vale of Glamorgan, died last Thursday in Florida.

His other films included Tristan and Isolde, and The Snowman, which was based on the Jo Nesbo crime novel.

On TV his many credits included Poirot, Lewis, and The Bill.

He also appeared in the BBC comedy series Gimme Gimme Gimme, whose star Kathy Burke tweeted: “Just heard about the death of lovely Ronan Vibert. We first worked together at Manchester Royal Exchange back in the 80s. We had great times together.

“Our favourite was seeing The Pogues, Glasgow Barrowlands on Paddy’s night. Oh, how we jumped.”

The acting bug bit him early. He took part in productions at Stanwell School in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, including the title role of Dracula.

One school friend recalled: “He had a huge career, but his performances in those school productions have really stayed with us. In Dracula, when all we saw was a claw-like hand coming out of the stage curtain, he nearly finished off half the audience”.

More than 30 years later, he would revisit the vampire legend with a part in the 2014 film Dracula Untold.

‘So sad… numb’
After school he went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London.

Among his fellow RADA students was the actor Jason Watkins, who tweeted: “So sad that my friend Ronan Vibert has died. Numb.

“The youngest in our year ⁦at RADA. He was unique. Saw things differently – so inventive. Wonderful times with him. Too young.”

The Hollywood Reporter quoted his manager saying that he died last Thursday at a Florida hospital after a brief illness.

The nature of the illness was not specified.

He leaves a wife, Jess.

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