Ian Gelder, Actor Who Played Kevan Lannister on ‘Game of Thrones,’ Dies at 74

Ian Gelder, the British actor who played Kevan Lannister on HBO’s Game of Thrones and the villain Zellin on Doctor Who, has died. He was 74.

“It is with huge huge sadness and a heavy heart broken into a million pieces that I’m leaving this post to announce the passing of my darling husband and life partner Ian Gelder,” the actor Ben Daniels announced on Instagram. Daniels revealed that Gelder had been diagnosed with bile duct cancer five months ago and that “neither of us had any idea that it would all be so fast.”

“He was my absolute rock and we’d been partners for more than 30 years. If we weren’t together we spoke to each other everyday,” Daniels wrote. “He was the kindest, most generous spirited and loving human being. He was a wonderful wonderful actor, and everyone who worked with him was touched by his heart and light. I honestly don’t know what I’ll do without him by my side.”

“We are saddened to hear of lan Gelder’s death. One of the most kind and gentle people in the business, lan’s career spanned many decades,” Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey, co-artistic directors the Royal Shakespeare Company, said in a statement on X. “He was a regular on the RSC stage from the 70s onwards, creating many memorable performances including his Antonio in The Merchant of Venice and Clarence in Richard III. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Ian Gelder has sadly passed away at the age of 74 after his battle with cancer. pic.twitter.com/hsMZDZwBDt — westerosies (@westerosies) May 7, 2024

A veteran character actor who appeared on stage and screen, Gelder’s career spanned six decades and aside from Game of Thrones and Doctor Who, he made appearances on several well-known shows, including Torchwood, Snatch and His Dark Materials.

Born on June 3, 1949, Gelder made his first appearances on British television in 1972, appearing on the police procedural New Scotland Yard. Throughout his career, Gelder found regular work as a character actor and made appearances on several popular British shows including long-running dramas The Bill, Eastenders, Casualty and Holby City.

Only in the later years of his career did Gelder find more mainstream notoriety after featuring in 12 episodes of HBO’s phenomenally successful fantasy show Game of Thrones. In the show, Gelder played Kevan Lannister, the younger brother of the scheming Lord Tywin Lannister played by Charles Dance. Gelder’s character dies in the final season of Game of Thrones when the Great Sept of Baelor is incinerated by wildfire.

Gelder had a lengthy and successful career in theater and a long association with the Royal Shakespeare Company and London’s Globe Theater. He appeared in the RSC’s productions of Titus Andronicus, The Taming of the Shrew, The Merchant of Venice, Richard III and As You Like It, among others.

For the Donmar Warehouse, Gelder starred in Arnold Wesker’s Roots (2013), C.P. Taylor’s Good (1999) and Ben Hecht and Charles Macarthur’s The Front Page (1997). And for the Royal Court Theatre he starred in Body Talk (1996), Fireface (2000), Mouth to Mouth (2001) and The Low Road (2013).

Gelder also appeared in features, the most notable of which include Little Dorrit (1987), King Ralph (1991) and Surge (2020).

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