British comedian Ian Cognito became ill on stage during a comedy performance Thursday evening in England.
The 60-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene after paramedics arrived, according to CNN. Cognito was performing a stand-up comedy act at the Atic bar in the city of Bicester. Cognito was halfway through his set when he became ill venue owner Ryan Mold said.
“He sat down, put his head and arms back; his shoulders were twitching,” Mold said.
The audience believed the illness was part of his act as the comedian had just mentioned a heart attack or stroke right before Mold said.
“We were called at 22:11 last night to Crown Walk in Bicester to a medical emergency. We sent a rapid response vehicle and an ambulance crew but sadly one patient passed away at the scene,” the ambulance service said in a statement to CNN. (RELATED: Tucker Interviews Male Comedian Behind Fake Feminist ‘Titania McGrath’)
Other comedians took to Twitter to pay tribute to the veteran comedian, who won the Time Out Award for Stand-Up Comedy in 1999. Fellow comedians Jimmy Carr and Jack Whitehall both shared messages on Twitter.
Veteran stand-up comedian Ian Cognito has died on-stage – literally. The audience thought it was part of the act. Died with his boots on. That’s commitment to comedy. I’ll never forget his kindness when I started out & how god damn funny he was.
— Jimmy Carr (@jimmycarr) April 12, 2019
Carr praised Cognito writing, “Died with his boots on. That’s commitment to comedy.”
Ian Cognito has passes away. Gigged with him when i first started out and he was always so much fun, had his own mythology on the circuit his exploits where legendary. A true maverick. Hope he’s found somewhere to hang his coat in heaven.
— Jack Whitehall (@jackwhitehall) April 12, 2019
Whitehall shared that he had started out with Cognito and that he “was always so much fun, had his own mythology on the circuit his exploits were legendary.”