Pierce Brosnan, the godfather of Jay Benedict's two sons, Leo and Freddie, has paid a heartfelt tribute to the Aliens actor, who died aged 68 from coronavirus.

Jay Benedict 

Benedict appeared in the 1986 epic as well as 2012's The Dark Knight Rises and the UK soap opera Emmerdale.

Writing on his Instagram account, former James Bond star Brosnan said:

"My dearest friend Jay Benedict, brother in this life, has passed on... we were friends for so many years, forty years and change. This is a photo taken last May outside the stage door of the Lyric theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue London.

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"Jay and I played brothers in a Franco Zeffirelli production of Filumena... Life was so much fun with Jay, on stage and off, we laughed a lot at the world around us, at our selves, saw the funny side of life always."

He continued: "He was a courageous man of handsome life force, that shone its light in every room he walked into, down every road he travelled, he shared his joyful radiance of kinship with all who knew him, a fine mind of intellect and compassion, he gave of himself in every way to the craft of acting, but above all else, he gave us all his great love of life, himself."

Brosnan also sent his condolences to Benedict’s wife Phoebe Scholfield and his "dearest God sons" Leo and Freddie. He signed-off the message "Uncle Pierce".

Emmerdale actress and former star of ‘Allo, ‘Allo! Vicki Michelle also shared a tribute to Benedict on Twitter.

"Shocked to hear one of our most brilliant actors and kind lovely man Jay Benedict has passed. Married to my lovely friend Phoebe Scholfield," she tweeted along with a photo of her and Benedict. "My heart goes out to her and her family at this sad time"

Actor David Menkin also paid tribute. "Jay Benedict - one of the greats - passed away today. If you work in ADR, dubbing, voiceovers, theatre or film in London, you know why we're heartbroken; a big voice and even bigger personality has left us," he tweeted.

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