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British Comedian Mel Smith Dies of Heart Attack at 60, BBC Says

British Actor Mel Smith
British comic actor and writer Mel Smith is seen in this Oct. 19, 2010 photo. He has died of a heart attack at his London home on July 19. He was 60. Photographer: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

British comic actor and writer Mel Smith has died of a heart attack at his London home, the BBC said, citing his agent Michael Foster.

Smith, 60, was known for starring roles in the BBC sketch shows “Alas Smith and Jones” and “Not The Nine O’clock News.” He was also a co-founder of the independent television company Talkback Productions which produced successful comedy shows including “I’m Alan Partridge,” “QI,” and “Da Ali G Show.” The company was sold in 2003 for 62 million pounds.

Smith’s comedy partner Griff Rhys Jones said he had “lost a very, very dear friend.”

“I still can’t believe this has happened,” Rhys Jones said. “To everybody who ever met him, Mel was a force for life. He had a relish for it that seemed utterly inexhaustible.”

The London Ambulance Service said Smith died at his home yesterday, the BBC reported.

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