Emma Chambers, the British actor best known for her roles in The Vicar of Dibley and Notting Hill, has died aged 53.
Image: Emma Chambers
A statement from her agency said: “Emma created a wealth of characters and an immense body of work. She brought laughter and joy to many, and will be greatly missed.”
Born in Doncaster, Chambers trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in the 1980s, working in theatre for 10 years before her major TV break as Charity Pecksniff in a TV adaptation of Charles Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit.
However, her best-loved role will always remain Alice Tinker in the BBC’s The Vicar of Dibley, a character once described, by her good friend Geraldine – played by Dawn French – as having “the intellectual capacity and charisma of a cactus”. Chambers appeared in all 20 episodes of the series and four Comic Relief specials, winning the British Comedy Award for best TV actress in 1998.
She also famously starred as Honey, the little sister of Hugh Grant’s Will, in the 1999 romcom classic Notting Hill, penned by Vicar of Dibley co-writer Richard Curtis.
Her agency stated the actor died from natural causes on Wednesday evening.
Emma Freud, who worked as a script editor on both The Vicar of Dibley and Notting Hill, paid tribute to Chambers on Twitter.
“Our beautiful friend Emma Chambers has died at the age of 53. We’re very very sad. She was a great, great comedy performer, and a truly fine actress. And a tender, sweet, funny, unusual, loving human being,” she wrote.
Our beautiful friend Emma Chambers has died at the age of 53. We're very very sad. She was a great, great comedy performer, and a truly fine actress. And a tender, sweet, funny, unusual, loving human being. pic.twitter.com/vLQcRcv2Ex
— emma freud 🔴 (@emmafreud) February 24, 2018
Dawn French, her Vicar of Dibley co-star, said: “Emma was a very bright spark and the most loyal and loving friend anyone could wish for. I will miss her very much.”
In a post on Twitter alongside a snap of the pair lying on the sofa together, she added: “I was regularly humped like this by the unique & beautiful spark that was Emma Chambers.
“I never minded. I loved her. A lot”
I was regularly humped like this by the unique & beautiful spark that was Emma Chambers. I never minded. I loved her. A lot . pic.twitter.com/imzkoyKja9
— Dawn French (@Dawn_French) February 24, 2018