Actress Liz Hurley has said she is "saddened beyond belief" by the death of film producer and philanthropist Steve Bing, her former partner and the father of her son Damian.

Bing died in California on Monday at the age of 55. It is reported that his death is being treated as a tragedy.

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed the death of a man in his 50s in the Century City area of Los Angeles on Monday. As per protocol, the department would not confirm the identity of the person but numerous tributes have been paid to Bing, including from Hurley and former US President Bill Clinton.

In a statement posted to Instagram, Hurley said: "Our time together was very happy and I'm posting these pictures because although we went through some tough times, it's the good, wonderful memories of a sweet, kind man that matter. 

"In the past year we had become close again. We last spoke on our son's 18th birthday. This is devastating news and I thank everyone for their lovely messages." Damian Hurley also thanked people for their support.

Bing-produced films included the romantic drama Rules Don't Apply, the Rolling Stones concert film Shine a Light and the Sylvester Stallone-starring remake of crime thriller Get Carter. He financed animated adventure The Polar Express and wrote the screenplay for the Outback comedy Kangaroo Jack.  

The Press Association reports that the publicity-shy Bing donated money to Bill Clinton and was reportedly instrumental in helping the former president return two American reporters from North Korea in 2009.

Bill Clinton and Steve Bing, pictured at a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) event in New York City in September 2010

Clinton said in his tribute: "I loved Steve Bing very much. He had a big heart, and he was willing to do anything he could for the people and causes he believed in. I will miss him and his enthusiasm more than I can say, and I hope he's finally found peace."

Bing inherited a reported $600m from his grandfather, leaving college and pursuing a career in philanthropy and entertainment.

Steve Bing, pictured in Hollywood in June 2006

He was the founder of Shangri-La Entertainment, with a portfolio including property, construction, entertainment and music. He donated large sums to the Democratic Party in the US and progressive causes. 

Bing also shared a daughter, Kira, with former tennis player Lisa Bonder.

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