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Actor Tom Beard dies aged 50

Beard was described by Samuel West as 'the most truthful and generous of actors'

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Tom Beard in 2010
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Tributes have been paid to actor Tom Beard, who had died aged 50.

Beard's agent Rebecca Blond told WhatsOnStage that he died of cancer that was only diagnosed in January.

She added: "He was a truly glorious man and a wonderful actor and we shall miss him beyond words."

Beard's recent stage credits included Hotel at the National Theatre, Tusk Tusk at the Royal Court and King Lear starring Derek Jacobi at the Donmar Warehouse.

Michael Grandage, who directed Lear, tweeted: "Farewell to the great Tom Beard. A wonderful man and a wonderful actor. We will miss you."

Actor Samuel West, who appeared alongside Beard in the BBC's Hollow Crown series, wrote that he was "one of the kindest of men, and the most truthful and generous of actors."

Beard's other screen credits included the 2011 film version of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, alongside Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. He also appeared in the hit adaptation of Bridget Jones's Diary and in television series including Holby City and Wallander.

His stage breakthrough came in 1994 when he played Laertes in Peter Hall's West End production of Hamlet starring Stephen Dillane in the title role and Donald Sinden as Polonius.

He subsequently appeared in several productions with the RSC, including Michael Boyd's stagings of Richard III and The Tempest.

Rebecca Blond confirmed that he leaves behind a wife and "two glorious children".