TV and theatre world mourns death of director Howard Davies

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Stars of theatre and TV have paid tribute to director Howard Davies - who has died at the reported age of 71.

Davies was a prominent theatre and TV director, having worked on productions in London's West End and New York's Broadway.

Blackadder star Tony Robinson led the tributes on Twitter, writing: "RIP my dear and wonderful friend the brilliant director Howard Davies."

Howard Davies
Howard Davies (pictured with Jason Donovan, left) has passed away (Andy Butterton/PA Archive/PA Images)

Actor and Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss wrote that Davies's death meant a "huge loss to the theatre".

He added: "Honoured to have worked with the great Howard Davies. Simply one of the very best. Funny, forensic, passionate."

Actor and director Samuel West praised Davies for building casts "like making a cake - never afraid to change the recipe slightly as long as the thing rose. And it always did.

"His production of Private Lives broke the mould; it became a vicious, painfully funny study of people in love who couldn't live together.

"And his shows were reliably good. I saw dozens. If he'd directed it, you know you'd have a fine, provoking evening. A great, great loss."

Humans star Tom Goodman-Hill wrote: "Devastated to hear of the death of director Howard Davies; a beautiful, brilliant man."

Howard Davies
Howard Davies was made a CBE in 2011 for his services to drama (CBE Lewis Whyld/PA Archive/PA Images)

Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington added that it is a "very sad day".

Josie Rourke, the artistic director of the Donmar Warehouse theatre, said: "In a preview of Les Liaisons Dangereuses thinking about the incomparably gifted and kind Howard Davies, the play's first director. RIP."

Davies was born in Durham in 1945 and went on to study at Durham University and Bristol University, before stints working at the Bristol Old Vic and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

During his long career Davies won three Best Director Laurence Olivier Awards for his productions The Iceman Cometh, All My Sons and The White Guard.

He worked extensively at London's Almeida theatre as well as the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

His Broadway debut came in 1981 with a production of Piaf. There, he also worked on productions of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and My Fair Lady.

Howard Davies
Howard Davies with the award for Best Director for The White Guard at the 2011 Laurence Olivier Awards (Ian West/PA Wire/PA Images)

Davies received three Tony Award nominations for his work as a director in the New York theatre community.

He was appointed a CBE in 2011 for his services to drama.

In a 2010 interview, Davies confessed that his biggest regret was working on My Fair Lady on Broadway purely for financial gain.

He told The Guardian: "It's the only play I've ever done for money, and it was horrible from beginning to end."