Sir Michael Gambon, the actor, has died at the age of 82, according to his family.
He was most recognized for his performances as Professor Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight Harry Potter films.
Over the course of his six-decade career, the Dublin-born actor worked in TV, cinema, theater, and radio. He received four Baftas.
Following a battle of pneumonia, his wife Lady Gambon and son Fergus stated their “beloved husband and father” died peacefully in hospital with his family by his side.
Sir Michael’s family had migrated to London when he was a toddler, but he made his theatrical debut in Ireland in 1962, in a production of Othello in Dublin.
His career skyrocketed once he joined Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre acting company in London. He later won three Olivier Awards for his work in National Theatre shows.
Dame Helen Mirren, another actress, led tributes to her “naughty but very, very funny” friend.
In an interview with Laura Kuenssberg for this weekend’s Sunday, Dame Helen recounted how he kept her “constantly in laughter” as they performed on stage in Antony and Cleopatra and filmed 1989’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover.
She went on to say that the two had spoken about becoming older and how it affected their work: She described Sir Michael as “utterly realistic” about his circumstances.”He found it increasingly difficult to remember lines, which I have the greatest of sympathy with, and that sort of took him away from theatre,” she continued.’Magnificent deceiver’
He was well recognized for his portrayal as French investigator Jules Maigret in the ITV series Maigret, as well as Philip Marlow in Dennis Potter’s The Singing investigator on the BBC.
Following the death of Richard Harris in 2003, Sir Michael assumed the part of Dumbledore, the headmaster of the wizarding school Hogwarts, in the successful Harry Potter series based on JK Rowling’s novels.
Fiona Shaw, who portrayed Petunia Dursley in the films, said on BBC Radio 4’s The World at One, “He varied his career remarkably and never judged what he was doing, he just played.”
She described him as “a trickster, just a brilliant, magnificent trickster,” adding, “With text, there was nothing like him.” He was capable of doing anything.”
“I learned what acting could be from Michael in The Singing Detective – complex, vulnerable, and utterly human,” Jason Isaacs, who portrayed Lucius Malfoy in the series, posted on social media.
“The greatest thrill of being in the Potter films was that he knew my name and shared his fearless, filthy sense of fun with me.”
In an homage on X, now known as Twitter, Sir Michael was referred to as “a legend” by James Phelps, who portrayed Fred Weasley in the movie.He also posted a snapshot of communication in which he recalls Sir Michael once offered to go over lines with him during a weekend performance of Peter and the Wolf with the Manchester Halle Orchestra.
“In what should have been his downtime, we went over my weekend gig.” “I’ve always remembered it as one of the highlights of my (Harry Potter) days,” he remarked.
Sir Michael was described as a “great actor and great fun” by Dame Joan Collins, who played Sir Michael’s wife in the BBC comedy Mama’s Back in 1993.
Sir Michael’s longtime friend, Dame Eileen Atkins, told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One that he was “a great actor, but he always pretended he didn’t take it very seriously” and that he had fantastic stage presence.
“He just had to walk on stage and he commanded the whole audience immediately,” she continued. “There was something very sweet about him, this huge man who could look very frightening – but there was something incredibly sweet inside Michael.”
She continued, “I will always remember that man.”
‘The Grand Gambon’
His other film credits include the big screen adaptations of Dad’s Army, Gosford Park, and The King’s Speech, in which he played King George V, the stammering father of King George VI.
In 2010, he was nominated for an Emmy for his performance as Mr Woodhouse in an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, and in 2002, he was nominated for his portrayal as President Lyndon B Johnson in Path to War. In 1997, he was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in David Hare’s play Skylight.
In 1998, he was knighted for his contributions to the entertainment business. He was born in Ireland but became a British citizen as a kid.
The actor, known as “The Great Gambon” in the industry, was last seen on stage in a London production of Samuel Beckett’s play All That Fall in 2012.
“A great actor,” said Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar. He gave his everything to every performance, whether it was in Beckett, Dennis Potter, or Harry Potter.”