The actor Mark Rylance has withdrawn from performing at the Olympic opening ceremony following the sudden death of his step-daughter.
28-year-old film-maker Nataasha van Kampen died of 'unsuspected natural causes' on Sunday.
She was the daughter of Claire and Chris van Kampen. Mark Rylance has been married to Claire van Kampen since 1992.
A statement issued by the family today said, "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, but Claire and I will continue our work with the productions, Richard III and Twelfth Night at Shakespeare's Globe and in the West End."
"The family would ask that their privacy is respected at this sad and difficult time."
Rylance, 52, was due to recite parts of The Tempest during the 'Isles Of Wonder' section of the opening ceremony on July 27th.
The ceremony is said to be inspired by the lines in Caliban's speech, "Be not afeard. The isle is full of noises, sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not."
He is also due to star this month in Twelfth Night and Richard III at Shakespeare's Globe.
Claire van Kampen is writing the music for both productions.Reuse content