Sir Michael Gambon has died.
The Harry Potter actor passed away in hospital at the age of 82 with his family by his side after contracting pneumonia, his wife and son have announced.
A statement issued on behalf of the family said: “We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon. Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia. Michael was 82. We ask that you respect our privacy at this painful time and thank you for your messages of support and love.”
Gambon — who also had two sons with Philippa Hart, Will, 15, and 13-year-old Tom — was best known for playing Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore beginning with the third Harry Potter movie, a role he took on following the death of Richard Harris. On the small screen, he was known for his role as the French detective Jules Maigret in the series Maigret, and as the titular character in The Singing Detective.
He began his career over 60 years ago and was one of the original members of the Royal National Theatre, alongside Laurence Olivier.
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Over the years, Gambon won three Olivier Awards, for Best Actor in A View from the Bridge in 1988, and Best Comedy performance in 1986 and 1990 for A Chorus of Disapproval and Man of the Moment, respectively. He also scooped the Best Actor BAFTA four times, for The Singing Detective in 1987, and then three years running between 2000 and 2002 for Wives and Daughters, Longitude and ‘Perfect Strangers’.
In 2014, Gambon said he had stopped working in the theatre because of memory issues. “It’s a horrible thing to admit, but I can’t do it. It breaks my heart.”
Told his memory still seems quite sharp, he added: “Yes. But it’s when the script’s in front of me and it takes me forever to learn it. It’s frightening.”
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