Richard Michael "Rik" Mayall (7 March 1958 – 9 June 2014) was an English comedian, actor and writer. Mayall formed a close partnership with Ade Edmondson while they were students at Manchester University, and became a pioneer of alternative comedy in the 1980s. Mayall starred in numerous cult classic sitcoms throughout his career, including The Young Ones, The Comic Strip Presents..., Blackadder, Filthy Rich & Catflap, The New Statesman, and Bottom. Mayall also starred in the comedy films Drop Dead Fred and Guest House Paradiso, and won a Primetime Emmy Award for his voice-over work in The Willows in Winter. His comedic style was described as energetic "post-punk".
In later life, Mayall struggled with depression and insecurities. In 1998, he suffered a serious head injury in a quad bike accident near his Devon home, and was later in a coma for several days until his recovery. Mayall died from an acute cardiac event in 2014. BBC Television director Danny Cohen described Mayall in his legacy as a "truly brilliant" comedian with a unique stage presence, whose "fireball creativity" and approach to sitcom had inspired a generation of comedy stars.
He is also known as Richard Michael Mayall.
On 9 June 2014, Mayall died at his home in Barnes, Richmond-upon-Thames, London, at the age of 56. After being called to the house with a report of a sudden death at 13:19, the Metropolitan Police said that the death was not believed to be suspicious. His death was announced by his management team. Tributes were paid by comedy producer John Lloyd, comedian David Walliams, actor and writer Stephen Fry, surrealist and actor Noel Fielding, film director Edgar Wright, and many others.