British actor Tim Pigott-Smith has died. He was 70.

"It is with deep regret that I have to announce the sad news that Tim Pigott-Smith died this morning [Friday 7 April]," his agent John Grant 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. We ask that you respect the privacy of his wife, the actress Pamela Miles, his son Tom and the family."

Born in Rugby, Pigott-Smith graduated from the University of Bristol in 1967. Beginning his career on stage he made his debut at the Bristol Old Vic. An acclaimed Shakespearean actor, he shared the stage with Dame Judi Dench, Dame Helen Mirren and Sir Patrick Stewart among others.

In 1974 he took Broadway by storm with his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes' companion Dr Watson.

He made his first foray in TV with a role in the 1971 film Boswell's Life of Johnson. More roles on the small screen followed as Marco in Doctor Who until 1976, Angelo in TV movie Measure For Measure in 1979 and Brendan Bracken in 1981 series Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years.

Winning Olivier and Tony Award nominations for his lead role in the play King Charles III, he also won a Bafta for his part in the 1984 TV series The Jewel in the Crown.

A celebrated star of British stage and screen Pigott-Smith also made his mark on Hollywood with appearances in Alexander, Gangs of New York, Johnny English, The Remains of the Day, V for Vendetta and the James Bond film Quantum of Solace.

In 2017, in recognition of a distinguished career spanning four decades on stage and screen he was awarded an OBE for services to drama.

He continued working right up until his death, with a role in the TV film King Charles III, and was due to appear in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman in Northampton on Monday (10 April).

He leaves behind wife Pamela Miles and son Tom. Tributes have been pouring in on social media.