British actress Emma Chambers, who was best known for her roles in TV comedy The Vicar Of Dibley and the movie Notting Hill, has died aged 53.
Chambers, who played the dim but lovable Alice Tinker in the long-running show, died from natural causes.
She starred alongside Dawn French who played Geraldine Granger in the comedy which ran from 1994 to 1998 but returned for several festive and comic relief specials with the latest episode airing in 2015.
French tweeted a memory of her co-star on Saturday, writing: “I was regularly humped like this by the unique & beautiful spark that was Emma Chambers.
“I never minded. I loved her. A lot.”
In 1998, Doncaster-born Chambers won the British Comedy Award for best actress for her performance in The Vicar Of Dibley.
A year later, she attracted international attention for her role in the Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts film Notting Hill.
In the movie, she played Honey, Hugh Grant’s little sister and the romantic interest of Rhys Ifans’ character Spike.
Grant called Chambers a “hilarious and very warm person and of course a brilliant actress”.
Broadcaster Emma Freud, who is married to Notting Hill and The Vicar Of Dibley writer Richard Curtis, tweeted: “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.”
Her agent John Grant said: “We are very sad to announce the untimely death, from natural causes, of the acclaimed actress, Emma Chambers.
“Over the years, Emma created a wealth of characters and an immense body of work.
Emma Chambers was a hilarious and very warm person and of course a brilliant actress. Very sad news.
— Hugh Grant (@HackedOffHugh) February 24, 2018
“She brought laughter and joy to many, and will be greatly missed. At this difficult time we ask that the privacy of the family and loved ones be respected.”
Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who grew up in Doncaster near Chambers, wrote: “I’m sad about Emma Chambers.
“Knew her when she was a kid in Doncaster. She was very funny.”
Chambers is survived by her husband and fellow actor Ian Dunn.