Actress and comedian Dawn French has paid tribute to her Vicar of Dibley co-star, Emma Chambers, who has died at the age of 53.
Chambers’ death was confirmed in a statement from her agency which stated she died from natural causes on Wednesday evening and added that ‘she will be greatly missed’.
She is survived by her husband, Ian Dunn.
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.
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.
Chambers made her TV debut on The Bill, but it was the role of Alice Tinker in the Vicar of Dibley, a role she played from 1994 to 2007, that made her a household name.
In 1998, Chambers won the British Comedy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Alice.
She also appeared in the feature film Notting Hill alongside Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, playing Hugh’s eccentric sister Honey Thacker.
Among the tributes, was a heartbreaking post from Chambers’ Vicar of Dibley co-star, and friend, Dawn French, who said:
I was regularly humped like this by the unique & beautiful spark that was Emma Chambers. I never minded. I loved her. A lot .
I was regularly humped like this by the unique & beautiful spark that was Emma Chambers. I never minded. I loved her. A lot . pic.twitter.com/imzkoyKja9
— Dawn French (@Dawn_French) February 24, 2018
Here’s a clip of the two of them in the classic BBC programme:
Emma Freud was also among the people paying tribute to the ‘loving human’.
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.
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. pic.twitter.com/vLQcRcv2Ex
— emma freud ? (@emmafreud) February 24, 2018
And Alistair Stewart added:
#EmmaChambers – one of the cleverest, funniest ‘faux-stupid’ actresses ever to have graced our screens. So young. So sad.
#EmmaChambers – one of the cleverest, funniest 'faux-stupid' actresses ever to have graced our screens. So young. So sad.
— Alastair Stewart (@alstewitn) February 24, 2018
— Rob Ashby-Hawkins (@HawkinsAshby) February 24, 2018
I'm sad about Emma Chambers. Knew her when she was a kid in Doncaster. She was very funny.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) February 24, 2018
A: You know I Cant Believe Its Not Butter?
A: Well, I can't believe its not butter….
G: Well I believe that's the point
A: I bought this home brand and you know I can't believe its not I Can't Believe Its Not Butter….
RIP Emma Chambers :(https://t.co/DeDUpooUA4
— James Longman (@JamesAALongman) February 24, 2018
So sad to hearing of the passing of Emma Chambers. Great memories of her in Vicar of Dibley as Alice. pic.twitter.com/46oanFwVTt
— Jono Read (@jonoread) February 24, 2018
Sad news, actress Emma Chambers, best known for The Vicar of Dibley and Notting Hill, has died at 53 her agency has confirmed pic.twitter.com/fcjQrCPtQU
— lizo mzimba (@lizo_mzimba) February 24, 2018
Rest in peace, Emma.