Rik Mayall, a British comedian/actor known for a number of sitcom and movie roles, died today at his home in London.
He was 56 years old.
Mayall was seriously injured in a bicycle accident in 1998 and remained in a coma for several days at the time.
But he was just filming last week in Portugal and it is not believed his passing is related to that unfortunate incident.
The star anchored such programs in Great Britain as The Young Ones and Blackadder and will likely be most fondly remembered in the United States for his character in the 1991 film Drop Dead Fred.
Mayall often worked alongside fellow comedian Adrian Edmondson, who he met at Manchester University.
He leaves behind a wife and three children.
“Awful news about Rik Mayall – a fireball of creative comic energy and inspiration. Such brilliant raw talent,” comedian Rory Bremner wrote on Twitter this morning, while author Tony Parsons added:
“He taught a generation to laugh at the world – and ourselves. Rik Mayall, RIP.”