Actor Stephen Greif, known for roles in The Crown & EastEnders, dies at 78

THE Crown actor Stephen Greif has died aged 78, his agent announced today.

The star most recently played Speaker of the House Sir Bernard Weatherill in the Netflix drama in 2020, and has also appeared in soaps like Coronation Street and EastEnders.

Actor Stephen Greif, pictured as DCI Gomez in The Sandbaggers, has died

Actor Stephen Greif, pictured as DCI Gomez in The Sandbaggers, has diedCredit: Rex
Tributes have poured in for the star

Tributes have poured in for the starCredit: Rex

He featured heavily in the first series of BBC sci-fi show Blake’s 7 in 1978 as the sadistic villain space commander Travis.

And he played local gangster publican Harry Fenning in the first three series of sit-com Citizen Smith from 1977.

In 1978 he featured for one episode of spy drama The Sandbaggers as DCI Gomez.

Tributes pouring in have praised Greif for his wit, intelligence and talent as a performer.

His representatives at Michelle Braidman Associates wrote online today: “With great sadness we announce the death of our wonderful client Stephen Greif.

“His extensive career included numerous roles on screen and stage, including at the National Theatre, RSC and in the West End.

“We will miss him dearly and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Doctor Who voice actor Barnaby Edwards said he was “very saddened to hear that Stephen Greif has left us”.

He added: “A rock-solid performer with a voice as liquid and deadly as molten lava. When it came to playing villains, he was unsurpassed.

“His acerbic wit and obvious intelligence made him a joy to direct. Thanks for the fun, Stephen.”

Radio Times executive editor Morgan Jeffery wrote: “Very sad to hear of the passing of Stephen Greif – such a phenomenal antagonist as Travis in Blake’s 7, one part of a memorable career across film, TV and stage.”

Actress Judy Jarvis wrote: “Devastated to hear that the brilliant actor, & fascinating erudite man, Stephen Greif has died.

“I absolutely loved working with him way back in Citizen Smith, & especially catching up with him several times since. Condolences & sympathy to his family & friends.”

Actor Stuart Anthony, formerly in The Bill and EastEnders, added: “Very sad to hear the wonderful Stephen Greif has passed away.

“A lovely man with a huge CV and some fantastic stories – RIP.”

Another fan wrote: “Sorry to hear this. Citizen Smith is my favourite sitcom but only the first three series as when he left it was never the same.”