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Mark Rylance Withdraws From Olympics Opening Ceremony Due to Stepdaughter’s Death

Mark Rylance Withdraws From Olympics Opening Ceremony Due to Stepdaughter’s Death
Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance pulls out of the Olympics opening ceremony in London.

Two-time Tony winner Mark Rylance will no longer perform in the Olympics opening ceremony, according to the Associated Press. The British actor, who was scheduled to recite passages from The Tempest during the July 27 ceremony in London, pulled out due to the sudden death of his 28-year-old stepdaughter, filmmaker Nataasha van Kampen. Directed by Danny Boyle, the opening ceremony is titled The Isles of Wonder, inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest. No replacement for Rylance has been announced.

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, where the two-time Olivier winner served as artistic director from 1996 to 2006, released the following statement from Rylance: “Our beloved daughter and sister Nataasha passed away of unsuspected natural causes early on Sunday morning. Because of our bereavement, I have decided to withdraw from my commitment to the opening ceremony of the Olympics.” Van Kampen is the daughter of Rylance's wife, composer Claire van Kampen. 

Rylance won Tony Awards for Jerusalem and Boeing-Boeing, and has also appeared on Broadway in La Bete. He won Olivier Awards for Much Ado About Nothing and the London production of Jerusalem. His film and TV credits include Intimacy, The Other Boleyn Girl, Angels and Insects and Blitz, as well as the TV broadcast of Henry V at the Globe Theatre. Despite van Kampen’s death, Rylance is still set to star in forthcoming productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night at the Globe.

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