Tragedy for Oscar winner Mark Rylance, 62, as his younger brother dies in a horror bike crash

Sir Mark Rylance’s ‘beloved’ brother has been killed in a horror cycling crash in California – in yet another tragedy for the British Oscar-winning actor.

Wine expert Jonathan Waters, 60, was cycling late one night in the city of Oakland last week when he was hit by an oncoming vehicle with serious head injuries.

The local fire brigade, who arrived first on the scene, gave immediate treatment but died the next morning, despite being rushed to the hospital, affectionately known as ‘Jonno’ by friends and family.

It’s another terrible loss for Sir Mark, 62, after one of his two stepdaughters died of a fatal brain haemorrhage in 2012. The star has taken time off from the West End stage to travel to the US for a memorial service.

Nataasha van Kampen, a gifted filmmaker, was just 28 when she died unexpectedly on a flight from New York to London.

Jonathan Waters had spent more than three decades at one of California’s most acclaimed restaurants, Chez Panisse, initially clearing tables before becoming an inspired sommelier.

He was adored not only for his encyclopedic knowledge of wines, but also for what a friend described as “his grace and joy, light and humor and spirit.”

Sir Mark has two siblings, sister Susannah and brother Jonathan, all of whom were born in Kent. The actor took the name Mark Rylance in the 1980s because his first name, Mark Waters, had already been taken by someone else who was registered with acting trade union Equity.

Jonathan Waters was cycling in the city of Oakland late one night last week when he was hit by an oncoming vehicle with serious head injuries.

Sir Mark Rylance mourns his brother today. Sommelier Jonathan Waters was cycling in the city of Oakland late last week when he was hit by an oncoming vehicle with serious head injuries.

Rylance's stepdaughter Nataasha van Kampen, a gifted filmmaker, suffered a fatal brain haemorrhage in 2012 during a flight from New York to London

Rylance’s stepdaughter Nataasha van Kampen, a gifted filmmaker, suffered a fatal brain haemorrhage in 2012 during a flight from New York to London

Sir Mark, left, holds their sister Susannah as she sat next to his brother Jonathan when they were children in Ashford, Kent

Sir Mark, left, holds their sister Susannah as she sat next to his brother Jonathan when they were children in Ashford, Kent

Sir Mark starred in Jerusalem’s West End revival, in what one critic called an “almost superhuman” performance.

This week, theatergoers have been informed of Jonno’s death and Rylance’s consequent absence.

He will be in California on Sunday at a service commemorating the life of the brother with whom he and their sister, Susannah, grew up in America, mostly in Wisconsin, where their father taught at the University School of Milwaukee.

Sir Mark issued a statement explaining that he would not be performing his play Jerusalem this weekend.

He said: ‘I am sorry to tell you that on May 28, my dear brother Jonathan Waters was knocked off his bicycle and tragically died of his injuries.

“Unfortunately, to attend his funeral in California, I have to miss three performances of Jerusalem from Saturday, June 11 through Sunday, June 12.

“Unfortunately, because I have no understudy to play the part of Rooster Johnny Byron, these performances have been cancelled.

Sonia Friedman Productions, along with Nimax, will host additional performances at the end of the planned run to try and accommodate everyone involved.

“I hope you understand my need to grieve my beloved brother and thank you for your support at this time. I hope you can attend another Jerusalem performance.”

Mark Rylance's brother, known to friends as 'Jonno', became a celebrated sommelier in the US

Mark Rylance’s brother, known to friends as ‘Jonno’, became a celebrated sommelier in the US

Sir Mark's sister, Susannah, paid this poignant tribute to their brother, who 'lived a brave, true life that positively influenced so many people'

Sir Mark’s sister, Susannah, paid this poignant tribute to their brother, who ‘lived a brave, true life that positively influenced so many people’

Mr Rylance stepped down from his role in the opening ceremony of the Olympics after the sudden death of his ‘beloved’ stepdaughter.

Rylance – one of Britain’s greatest Shakespearean actors – would recite verses from The Tempest during Danny Boyle’s ‘Isles of Wonder’ ceremony that lit up the London Stadium.

But the Olivier Award-winning actor withdrew after announcing that his “beloved daughter” had died of “unsuspected natural causes.”

Nataasha was the daughter of Rylance’s wife Claire van Kampen and has known the actor since she was three. Her sister is the award-winning actress Juliet Rylance.

The gifted independent filmmaker started working for Sky Television at the age of 16 and went into short film production before attending London Film School. Her debut, Nocturne, was screened at the London Young Filmmakers Festival.

She split her time between New York and London and described herself as an artist, designer and filmmaker.

She lived in a flat near the trendy Borough Market, close to London Bridge, but professed her love for New York and listed it on Facebook as her ‘hometown’. A neighbor, who said she spoke to Mr Fitzgerald, said: ‘She had a brain haemorrhage on the plane. It’s just tragic – she had a heart of gold.”

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