'He could do anything': Michael Gambon, who played Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, died
Sir Michael Gambon, best known for his role as Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, has died. He was 82 years old. Writes about this Page Six.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Sir Michael Gambon,” his representative Claire Dobbs said in a statement on behalf of his wife Ann Miller and son Fergus. “A beloved husband and father, Michael passed away peacefully in hospital after a bout of pneumonia. His wife Anne and son Fergus were at his side."
The statement ends: “We ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time and thank you for your words of support and love.”
The Irish-English actor's career spanned almost five decades, during which he received four BAFTA awards, two RTS awards and one Laurence Olivier award.
Beginning his theatrical career in Dublin, Ireland, Gambon first appeared on stage in a production of Othello at the Gates Theater in 1962 and was knighted in 1998 for his contributions to the entertainment industry.
He is also known for playing the role of French detective Jules Maigret in the ITV series of the same name and as the leading actor in the BBC series The Singing Detective.
However, he is best known for his role as the beloved Hogwarts headmaster, which he played after the death of former actor Richard Harris until the end of the franchise.
In 2015, Gambon again joined forces with Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling, starring in the film adaptation of the novel The Casual Vacancy. She wrote it under the pseudonym Richard Galbraith.
That same year, the acclaimed actor was forced to retire from the stage after suffering “frightening memory loss,” a decision he described as heartbreaking.
“There was a girl standing backstage, and I put an earphone in my ear so she could read the lines to me,” he said.
After about an hour he thought: “This is not going to work. It's terrible, but I can't do it. It breaks my heart."
Fiona Shaw, who played Petunia Dursley in the films, said: “He was very versatile and never judged what he did. Gambon was just playing."
She said she would always think of him “as a magician – just a brilliant, magnificent magician”: “He could do anything.”
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Dame Eileen Atkins, a long-time friend of Sir Michael, said he was "a great actor but always pretended not to take it seriously". He had an amazing stage presence, she said.
“He just had to step on stage and he would immediately dominate the entire audience,” she said. “There was something very sweet about him, this huge man who could look very scary, but inside Michael there was something incredibly sweet.”
Atkins remarked, “I will always remember this man.”
Gambon married Miller in 1962 and they have one son. Although Gambon never divorced Miller, he had another partner - production designer Philippa Hart, who was 25 years his junior. They had two children.
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