Rest in peace, Emma Chambers. The British actress most known in the US for playing Honey Thacker in 1999’s Notting Hill sadly died of natural causes on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at age 53. The star’s agent confirmed the news to the BBC on Saturday, Feb. 24. “Emma created a wealth of characters and an immense body of work. She brought laughter and joy to many. [She will be] greatly missed,” her rep John Grant said in a statement.
Following the news of Emma’s unexpected passing, her Notting Hill co-star Hugh Grant took to Twitter to pay tribute to the late actress. “Emma Chambers was a hilarious and very warm person and of course a brilliant actress. Very sad news,” the actor wrote. Emma portrayed the younger sister of Hugh’s character Will Thacker in the late ’90s flick, which also famously starred Julia Roberts.
Emma as Honey in Notting Hill. (Photo Credit: R/R)
In addition to her Notting Hill role, Emma was recognized for playing Alice Tinker in 24 episodes of the BBC comedy The Vicar of Dibley from 1994 until 2007. She also played Charity Pecksniff on the 1994 TV serial Martin Chuzzlewit and Helen Yardley on the British sitcom How Do You Want Me?, which ran from 1998 to 1999. While previously starring on The The Vicar of Dibley, Emma won the 1998 British Comedy Award for best actress.
Emma is survived by her husband and fellow actor Ian M. Dunn. The couple tied the knot in June 1991 and did not have any children together. Prior to marrying Ian, Emma lived with English actor Ian McKellen, whom she once affectionately referred to as “a sort of father figure.” Throughout her life, Emma suffered from asthma and a chronic allergy to animals. Though specific details surrounding her death are still unknown at this time, it has been reported that the actress died of natural causes. Our thoughts are with Emma’s family and friends during this difficult time.