London: British actor Alex Giannini, who was last seen in the Tom Hardy-starrer "Legend", has died. He was 52.
Giannini was pronounced dead shortly before he was due to take to the stage in Plymouth for "Mack & Mabel" yesterday.
Officials said the show at the Theatre Royal was cancelled an hour before the curtain was due to come up.
Agent Felix de Wolfe took to Twitter to confirm Giannini's death, writing, "The talented and much loved actor @GianniniAlex died suddenly of natural causes yesterday. An incredible life force has left the building."
Giannini portrayed the role of US mobster Antonio Caponigro, also known as Tony Bananas, in the recent hit "Legend".
The actor has also appeared in the 2007 royal biopic "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" and has had numerous TV roles including "The Bill" and "Dalziel and Pascoe".
He also won plaudits for his performances in theatre - with credits including "Batman Live" and "Oh What A Lovely War".
Actress Amy Beadal paid tribute to him online, writing, "So so sad to hear about the amazing Alex Giannini. I had the honour of working with him this year and completely adored him. RIP darling man."
"Benidorm" star Hugh Sachs said, "Terrible news about lovely Alex Giannini." Giannini was married to Jennifer, daughter of Welsh funnyman Sir Harry Seacombe.
Actor Oliver Hemborough wrote, "So thoroughly angry and saddened by the terrible news that Alex Giannini has died. Another bright light has gone out. Love to Jenny and all."
Giannini's official website featured a single image - showing a photo of him superimposed against the night sky along with the words, "There will be one star shining twice as bright as any other tonight. Rest with the angels Alex."