Sir Michael Gambon, the Irish-born British stage and screen actor best remembered for his role as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, has died. He was 82 years old at the time.
Gambon died “peacefully” in the hospital late Wednesday evening, according to a statement given on behalf of his wife Lady Gambon and son Fergus.
They are heartbroken to announce the death of Sir Michael Gambon, the statement said. Michael, a beloved husband and father, died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus by his side, following a bout of pneumonia. Michael was 82 years old.
The statement went on to say, they ask that one respect their privacy at this painful time and thanked for ones messages of support and love.
Gambon, who was born in Cabra, Dublin, Ireland in 1940, has had memorable roles in movies such as 1992’s Toys, 1999’s Sleepy Hollow, 2001’s Gosford Park, and 2010’s The King’s Speech, in which he played King George V and was among the cast that won the SAG Award for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture.
He was also nominated for two Emmy Awards and won four BAFTAs. Gambon earned the Richard Harris Award from the British Independent cinema Awards in 2012, an award that recognizes an actor who has made significant contributions to British cinema over the course of their career. Queen Elizabeth bestowed the knighthood on him in 1998.
After the passing of Richard Harris in October 2002, the actor acquired his most well-known role in the Potter series when he took over the character of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in 2004’s Prisoner of Azkaban. Harris portrayed Dumbledore in the first two films of the series.
Gambon told in 2009 that he didn’t realize the impact of the fantasy series until he decided to portray Dumbledore, and that he has come to love the Potter legacy.
“They rang me up and said, ‘Will you do it?’ Like any other job I said, ‘Sure.’ Then you find yourself in the middle of this thing,” he said, adding, “I’ve played quite a lot of crooks and killers, and that’s quite interesting. Then Dumbledore is the complete opposite, isn’t he? He’s a nice old man.”
“This will stick out as being a happy memory, being with a thing for so long and the worldwide love of it. You never forget that,” said Gambon.
In an interview in 2014, Gambon discussed acting, especially how he gets himself to weep for an emotional moment.
“You just do it. That’s what acting is,” he said at the time. “But I admit I try and summon up a powerful image. The one I often think of is that of a little girl in uniform, taken during the Vietnam War, with her clothes and body on fire because of an aerial bomb. I believe she recovered and is now a doctor, which makes me feel I’m not simply exploiting someone else’s tragedy.”
Gambon is survived by his wife, Lady Gambon, and son Fergus, as well as two children with Philippa Hart, Will and Tom.
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