Leicester remembers honorary graduate Tim Pigott-Smith

The University was saddened to learn on 7 April of the death of Tim Pigott-Smith, noted actor and and honorary graduate of the University of Leicester.

Pigott-Smith was well-known for his work on television shows such as The Jewel in the Crown, for which he received the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in 1985, and the title role in The Chief, but was arguably more familiar to theatregoers from his extensive career on the stage. He had a number of films roles, including in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace.

It was in January 2002 that the University of Leicester awarded him an honorary Doctor of Letters degree alongside Dean Richards, then Director of Rugby for Leicester Tigers, to whom he remarked, “You’re a great hero of mine, Deano, and I’m thrilled to be here with you.”

Educated at Wyggeston Boys' School, Leicester, he said during his acceptance speech, “I’d like to apologise to [my History master] for being such a dismal student of history, and I’d like to thank him for forgiving me sufficiently to put me in to the plays.” He added that, “as a young boy, I was first brought to the De Montfort Hall to hear Handel’s ‘Messiah’. My mother was then singing in the choir - she used to sit up there. I came to the De Montfort hall many many times to see all sorts of wonderful classical music, so the place is important to me.”

Tim Pigott-Smith passed away on 7 April and was due to appear in a touring production of Death of a Salesman. He can also be seen as Sniggs in the current BBC production of Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall.