Tim Pigott-Smith, 'Jewel in the Crown' Star and Stage Actor, Dies at 70

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Tim Piggott-Smith on opening night of 'King Charles III'

He became a regular on British TV screens in everything from 'Doctor Who' to 'Downton Abbey,' and starred on Broadway in 2015 in 'King Charles III.'

Tim Pigott-Smith, a versatile British actor who recently played Prince Charles on stage and screen, has died. He was 70.

The actor's agent, John Grant, says Pigott-Smith died Friday. Grant called him "one of the great actors of his generation ... a gentleman and a true friend."

Pigott-Smith was already a veteran of stage and screen when he came to international attention as a sadistic police officer in British-controlled India in the 1980s miniseries The Jewel in the Crown.

The show became a global sensation, and Pigott-Smith said it "changed my life."

Born in Rugby, central England in 1946, Pigott-Smith trained at the Bristol Old Vic theater school and built up a diverse career on stage, television and film. He became a regular on British TV screens in everything from Doctor Who to Downton Abbey, and had roles in such movies as V for Vendetta, Gangs of New York and the James Bond thriller Quantum of Solace.

Pigott-Smith is due to appear onscreen with Judi Dench in Stephen Frears' historical drama Victoria and Abdul, which is set for release in Britain in September.

The actor recently won Olivier and Tony nominations for the London and New York runs of the play King Charles III, which imagines disastrous events after the current heir to the British throne becomes king. He reprised the role for a TV adaptation.

Pigott-Smith is survived by his wife, Pamela Miles, and their son, Tom.