Davies passed away on Tuesday (25Oct16) following a short battle with cancer, according to a family statement obtained by Whatsonstage.com.

It read: "It is a devastating loss to his family, friends and the people who loved and worked with him. He was a wonderful, loving husband, father and grandfather, and a phenomenally talented director. He will be hugely missed."

Davies, who once served as associate director for the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), was best known for his work at the Old Vic and National Theatre venues in London, and he helped set up what is now known as the Donmar Warehouse.

He won three Best Director Olivier Awards during his career for The Iceman Cometh, All My Sons and The White Guard and he was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2011 for his services to drama.

His other U.K. productions included the first run of the play Les liaisons Dangereuses, Hedda Gabler, MACbeth, The Crucible and Pygmalion. He made his Broadway debut in Piaf in 1981, took Les liaisons Dangereuses to New York and worked on shows such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and My Fair Lady. He was nominated for Tony Awards three times but never won.

His last production was Enemy of the People at Chichester Festival Theatre in England in April (16) and he began co-directing the play The Plough and the Stars, which recently finished its run at the National Theatre, but Jeremy Herrin took over when Davies became ill.

Doctor Who and Sherlock actor/writer Mark Gatiss paid tribute to Davies on Twitter, writing, "Honoured to have worked with the great Howard Davies. Simply one of the very best. Funny, forensic, passionate. A huge loss to the theatre."

Davies, who also directed operas and TV films Blue/Orange and Copenhagen, is survived by his wife, Inspector Morse actress Clare Holman.