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BHA mourns its Patron, Warren Mitchell

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has responded with sadness at the death of its Patron, actor Warren Mitchell, best known for his portrayal of Alf Garnett in the sitcom Till Death Do Us Part.

Mitchell’s original passion was science, having began a course of study in physics at University College, Oxford. While he was there, however, he discovered his love of acting, and in 1951 he switched to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, where he honed his talents as an entertainer.

Over a distinguished career, he played a variety of roles, and displayed a talent for inhabiting his characters fully. It was this profound skill which earned him two Olivier Awards for his performances in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman in 1979 and The Price in 2004.

He died aged 89, and died surrounded by his family.

BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘Warren was best known for playing a curmudgeon on television but the truth is he was anything but. He was a sincere and thoughtful humanist who cared deeply about his family and his fellow human beings, and we were honoured to have had the benefit of working with him over the years.

‘He leaves behind a legacy of work which continues to make us laugh and make us cry. On the way, he helped to define British humour, and everything that it means to be human.’

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