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Sunday 4 December 2016

Kenneth Branagh leads tribute as Wallander author dies

Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
Swedish author Henning Mankell has died aged 67 (Nora Lorek/TT via AP)

Kenneth Branagh has led tributes to Swedish crime fiction author and Wallander creator Henning Mankell.

Branagh, who played Insp Kurt Wallander in the UK TV adaptation of Mankell's books, described the "passionate commitment" of the author who died in his sleep in Gothenburg at the age of 67.

The author had suffered from cancer, revealing his diagnosis in January last year in a newspaper column.

"In life and in art Henning Mankell was a man of passionate commitment," said Branagh. "I will miss his provocative intelligence and his great personal generosity.

"Aside from his stringent political activism, and his decades of work in Africa, he also leaves an immense contribution to Scandinavian literature.

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Swedish author Henning Mankell

"His loving family, and those privileged to know him, together with readers from all over the world, will mourn a fine writer and a fine man."

The fourth series of the show, with Branagh (inset) returning to the lead role, is due to air on BBC One later this year.

Ahead of its return, Branagh said: "I always approach each series of Wallander with antici- pation and excitement, but this last series of films contains some of the greatest challenges the character has ever faced.

"It's a privilege to try to meet them, and I look forward to a great Swedish autumn."

The Wallander books have sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.

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