James Bond actor Paul Bhattacharjee found dead in UK

Paul_BhattacharjeeLONDON: British Indian actor Paul Bhattacharjee, who appeared in the James Bond film ‘Casino Royale’ and a number of popular soaps and plays in Britain, has been found dead in East Sussex, Scotland Yard said today.

The 53-year-old actor, who had been missing since July 10 after rehearsals for a stage production in London’s West End, was found on cliffs in Sussex, south-east England.

“Officers investigating his disappearance were contacted by Sussex Police and informed that the body of a man, matching his description, had been recovered from cliffs at Splash Point in Seaford, East Sussex on Friday, July 12,” the Metropolitan police said in a statement today.

“The body was identified in Sussex as that of Mr Bhattacharjee. Next of kin have been informed. His death is being treated as non-suspicious,” the statement added.

Scotland Yard had earlier issued an appeal for Bhattacharjee.

The actor, who grew up both in India and Britain and was now based in Redbridge, north London, was last seen at the Royal Court Theatre in central London on July 10.

He was said to have been in a good spirits when he sent a text message to his girlfriend at 9pm that night. The last available CCTV footage showed him walking from the stage door of the theatre towards Sloane Square underground tube station.

His friends and family had made pleas for his safe return, including his 24-year-old son Rahul Bhattacharjee-Prashar, who said the disappearance was “completely out of character”.

“He was doing well in his career and everything seemed to be going okay,” he said.

The actor, who also appeared in ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’, ‘White Teeth’ and ‘Dirty Pretty Things’, had been due to appear in this week’s play ‘Talk Show’ at the Royal Court, which had been re-cast since his disappearance.

Following the news of his death tributes have poured in from colleagues on micro-blogging site Twitter.

‘Bend It Like Beckham’ star Parminder Nagra tweeted, “Very sad to hear the news about Paul Bhattacharjee. My thoughts are with his loved ones.”

“The saddest day. My friend (cast as Tagore in my play) Paul Bhattacharjee was found dead yesterday,” wrote London-based musician and composer Nitin Sawhney.-PTI

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