Actor Jay Benedict, best known for his roles in 1986’s “Aliens,” 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises” and the U.K. TV series “Emmerdale,” has died at 68 from the coronavirus.
Kristin Tarry, of TCG Artist Management, confirmed the news of his death to USA TODAY on Monday. She represented Benedict for the past 20-plus years.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear client Jay Benedict, who this afternoon lost his battle with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with his family,” the company tweeted Saturday.
Benedict played Newt’s father in “Aliens” and Rich Twit in “The Dark Knight Rises.” He took on the role of Doug Hamilton in the long-running series “Emmerdale,” which has been airing in the U.K. since 1972. He appeared on the show in the late ’90s. He leaves behind his wife, Phoebe Scholfield, and sons Freddie and Leopold.
Pierce Brosnan posted a lengthy tribute to his Instagram Monday along with a photo of him and Benedict.
“My dearest friend Jay Benedict, brother in this life, has passed on… we were friends for so many years, forty years and change. This is a photo taken last May outside the stage door of the Lyric theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue London,” he wrote. “Jay and I played brothers in a Franco Zeffirelli production of Filumena… Life was so much fun with Jay, on stage and off, we laughed a lot at the world around us, at our selves, saw the funny side of life always.”
He continued, “He was a courageous man of handsome life force, that shone its light in every room he walked into, down every road he traveled, he shared his joyful radiance of kinship with all who knew him, a fine mind of intellect and compassion, he gave of himself in every way to the craft of acting, but above all else, he gave us all his great love of life, himself.”
Brosnan also sent his condolences to Scholfield and his “dearest God sons” Leo and Freddie.
“Emmerdale” co-star Vicki Michelle also shared a tribute for Benedict on Twitter on Sunday.
“Shocked to hear one of our most brilliant actors and kind lovely man Jay Benedict has passed. Married to my lovely friend Phoebe Scholfield,” she tweeted along with a photo of her and Benedict. “My heart goes out to her and her family at this sad time”
Actor David Menkin also shared his thoughts.
“Jay Benedict – one of the greats – passed away today. If you work in ADR, dubbing, voiceovers, theatre or film in London, you know why we’re heartbroken; a big voice and even bigger personality has left us,” he tweeted.
Other celebrities have also recently passed away because of complications from COVID-19.
Patricia Bosworth, an actress who once starred alongside Audrey Hepburn and later wrote biographies on several stars including Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift, died Thursday from the coronavirus at 86.
Emmy- and Grammy-winning musician Adam Schlesinger, co-founder of the band Fountains of Wayne and songwriter for TV’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” died Wednesday from coronavirus complications. He was 52.
Legendary jazz pianist and teacher Ellis Marsalis Jr., the patriarch of New Orleans’ great musical family, died Wednesday at 85 from complications of coronavirus. And Lee Fierro, the actress best known for playing mourning Mrs. Kintner in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 “Jaws,” died of complications from coronavirus at 91.
Contributing: The Associated Press; Bryan Alexander