Richard Griffiths death will 'devastate army of friends'

Sir Nicholas Hytner, director of the National Theatre, has paid tribute to actor Richard Griffiths who has died at the age of 65 after complications following heart surgery.

Griffiths starred in the Harry Potter films and Withnail and I, but his most acclaimed performance was on stage as the charismatic teacher Hector in Alan Bennett's The History Boys.

After achieving a rare double of winning a Tony Award in New York and an Olivier Award in London, he recreated the role in a 2006 film version.

Sir Nicholas, who directed Griffiths, said his unexpected death would devastate his "army of friends".

"Richard Griffiths wasn't only one of the most loved and recognisable British actors - he was also one of the very greatest."

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