Downton Abbey actor died in Northampton of natural causes, coroner confirms

Timothy Pigott-Smith, 70, died in April.

Timothy Pigott-Smith, 70, died in April.

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There will be no inquest for the lead actor of a Northampton play who died three days before opening night of Death of a Salesman.

Tim Pigott-Smith OBE was billed as the lead role in Arthur Miller's play at the Royal & Derngate Theatre.

He was billed to star in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman at the Royal & Derngate Theatre.

He was billed to star in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman at the Royal & Derngate Theatre.

But the 70-year-old actor was found dead at a private address in Northampton on April 7, three days before opening night.

Coroner for Northamptonshire Anne Pember confirmed today she has ruled that Mr Pigott-Smith died of natural causes and therefore she will not hold an inquest into his death.

A statement released by his agent John Grant in April said: “Tim was one of the great actors of his generation.

“Much loved and admired by his peers, he will be remembered by many as a gentleman and a true friend. He will be much missed."

Following Mr Pigott-Smith's death, the production of Death of a Salesman has been postponed and will return to Northampton's Royal & Derngate Theatre in June.

Mr Pigott-Smith appeared in dozens of British television shows over his 50-year career, including Doctor Who, Midsomer Murders and Silent Witness. He also played Sir Philip Tapsell in ITV's Downton Abbey.

He was also well known for starring in the 1984 British serial drama The Jewel in the Crown, which The Guardian described as a 'high-water mark of 1980s British TV'.

In an interview with the Chronicle & Echo in the weeks before his death, Mr Pigott-Smith said: "I have been very lucky with the career that I have had, and the parts I have been asked to play.

“It is just a privilege to be a part of this show. I think it has the most wonderful quality."