Actor Stephen Greif, best known for his roles in The Crown and cult sci-fi drama Blake’s 7, has died aged 78, his agent confirmed Monday.
The seasoned actor played Speaker of the House Sir Bernard Weatherill on season four of Netflix hit The Crown in 2020.
Greif had previously played a recurring role as evil space commander Travis in the late 1970s sci-fi series Blake’s 7, a character famous for his eyepatch and prosthetic arm.
Tragic: Actor Stephen Greif, best known for his roles in The Crown and cult sci-fi drama Blake’s 7, has passed away aged 78, his agent confirmed Monday
However, the Hertfordshire-born actor was already well established after starring alongside Robert Lindsay in the hugely popular sitcom Citizen Smith, playing shady pub owner Harry Fenning alongside Lindsay’s titular Marxist in three series.
His representatives at Michelle Braidman Associates confirmed his death in a statement on Boxing Day: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our wonderful client Stephen Greif.
‘His extensive career has included countless roles on screen and stage, including at the National Theatre, RSC and in the West End.
“We will miss him very much and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”
Key role: The veteran character actor played Speaker of the House Sir Bernard Weatherill on season four of Netflix hit The Crown in 2020 (pictured)
Old times: Greif had previously played a recurring role as evil space commander Travis in the late 1970s sci-fi series Blake’s 7, a character famous for his eye patch
The actor’s other notable earnings included fleeting roles in long-running soap operas Coronation Street and EastEnders, 1970s espionage drama The Sandbaggers, Waking The Dead, The Witcher and Doctor Who.
Commenting on his death, Bleak House and Sherlock actor Phil Davies wrote: ‘Very sad, a very fine actor and a kind and sensitive man. We played a little golf together. REST IN PEACE.’
Actress Judy Jarvis added: ‘Devastated to learn that the brilliant actor and fascinating erudite man Stephen Greif has passed away.
Drama: Greif as Detective Superintendent Gomez in a 1978 episode of The Sandbaggers
Farewell: Friends and relations paid tribute to the popular actor, whose career spanned more than five decades
Main role: The actor in a scene from the Armchair Thriller episode Rachel in Danger
“I absolutely loved working with him way back in Citizen Smith, and especially catching up with him several times since then. Condolences and condolences to his family and friends.’
Actor David Kennedy also paid tribute to the star, writing, “Such sad news. I’ve only worked with Stephen once at the NT. He was a consummate professional and an absolute gentleman. RIP sir and condolences to his family.”
Elsewhere, Doctor Who actor Barnaby Edwards added: ‘A rock solid performer with a voice as fluid and deadly as molten lava. When it came to playing villains, he was unsurpassed.
His caustic wit and obvious intelligence made him a joy to direct. Thanks for the fun, Stephen.’
Guest star: Other roles included a small role in the 1980s drama Boon (depicted in a 1986 episode)
Rest in peace: Tributes poured in from fans of the actor as news of his death spread on social media
Cheers: Greif raises a glass in TV thriller Nightmare for a Nightingale, one of his numerous acting roles