There's sad news coming out of Hollywood. As reported by Deadline, Notting Hill's Emma Chambers has died of natural causes at age 53. The talented British actor played Hugh Grant's character's sister, Honey, in the classic '90s film, and also starred in the long-running BBC sitcom The Vicar of Dibley. Chambers is survived by her husband, Ian Dunn.
In a statement to Deadline, Chambers' 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 was a natural scene-stealer throughout her career, and her role as Honey is particularly memorable. In Notting Hill, Grant's Will is sweet and a bit bumbling, but his sister is a hilarious force of nature. In the scene where Honey meets Julia Roberts' Hollywood star character Anna, Chambers manages to make her giddy proclamation that Honey and Anna are already best friends utterly endearing. Notting Hill starred two of the most famous actors on the planet, but fans of the film can agree it simply wouldn't have been the same without Chambers' particular brand of bubbly humor.
Tributes to the actor are already pouring in on Twitter, where it's clear just how many people Chambers made laugh over the course of her career.
Notting Hill script editor Emma Freud, who also worked with Chambers on The Vicar of Dibley, penned a moving tribute to the actor on Twitter. Freud wrote,
"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."
Chambers' co-stars are also chiming in with kind words about the actor and condolences to her family. Hugh Grant and The Vicar of Dibley's Dawn French have both shared tributes on social media, as have other British actors including James Dreyfus, Jeremy Clarkson, and Jason Watkins. Grant's words for his onscreen sister are simple, but poignant. He wrote,
"Emma Chambers was a hilarious and very warm person and of course a brilliant actress. Very sad news."
Meanwhile, French not only shared her sadness, but also her memories of working with Chambers on the set of The Vicar of Dibley. Chambers' played Alice, the Vicar's righthand woman, and as a result, she and French shared many scenes together. Their character's unusual, but charming friendship despite being complete opposites was one of the show's greatest assets.
French shared a photo of herself and Chambers performing a scene where Chamber's Alice hopped onto the Vicar's back for an unexpected snuggle. French tweeted,
"I was regularly humped like this by the unique & beautiful spark that was Emma Chambers. I never minded. I loved her. A lot."
It's clear that Chambers will be missed by not only her fans, but her co-stars and fellow actors as well. Here are just a few of the tributes that have been posted by her peers so far:
Whether you will always remember Chambers best as Will's eccentric sister Honey, or as the dim, but kindhearted Alice, Chambers' work will stand as a testament to her talent as an actor. She had a rare gift for making people smile and laugh, no matter what role she played. While her life was far too short, the legacy she's left behind on film an television will surely live on to keep people laughing for generations to come.