Sir Michael Gambon, best known for his iconic role as Albus Dumbledore in most of the Harry Potter films has passed away at 82.
According to a statement released on behalf of his wife, Lady Gambon, and son, Fergus, reads: “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.”
An incredible career…
Whilst most would recognize him as Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and onwards, Gambon’s acting career began in London theatres in the 1970s. Following his performance in Brecht’s Life of Galileo in 1980, Ralph Richardson called him “the great Gambon” – a nickname that would follow him forevermore. He received the Olivier Award for his performance as Eddie Carbone in A View from the Bridge in 1987.
Michael Gambon, best known for his role as Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in six of the “Harry Potter” movies, It is with great sadness we share Michael Gamdon has died. He was 82. We send coldolences to his family. pic.twitter.com/4DHBYVllPW
— Rich-Gray funerals (@DanRichGray1) September 28, 2023
During his theatrical career, Gambon would go on to star in several great Shakespearean parts and plays such as Man of The Moment (another award-winning performance). But Gambon would only become a household name in the 1980s when he starred as Philip Marlow in the TV mini-series, The Singing Detective.
For his services to the dramatic arts, Gambon was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Eight years later, in 1998, Queen Elizabeth II, knighted him.
Fellow Harry Potter actor, James Phelps (Fred Weasley), posted on X (Twitter) stating that Gambon “was, on and off the camera, a legend” adding a small memory of the time he worked closely with Gambon:
Very sorry to hear about the passing of Michael Gambon. He was, on and off the camera, a legend. Just a little memory of Michael pic.twitter.com/4M6E6inWMy
— James Phelps (@James_Phelps) September 28, 2023
The image reads:
“Whilst shooting HP6 I worked on the AD department for the whole shoot (apart from the days I was acting). And for that reason, I spent many hours with Michael during the shoot. He was always very funny and very welcoming to share any knowledge he had.”
“One day we were shooting Dumbledore’s final clock tower scene, obviously quite an intense scene. In between set ups Michael asked what I was up to that weekend. As it happened my brother and I were reading Peter and the Wolf with the Manchester Halle orchestra. “Do you have the script with you?” He asked I did, “I’ve done that, let’s go through it and if you like I can give some notes”. So we spent what should have been his downtime going over my weekend gig. It is a memory I’ve always had as one of the highlights of my HP days.”
Jason Isaacs, who plays Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise, posted his own heartfelt tribute:
Magnificent Michael Gambon has died. I learned what acting could be from Michael in The Singing Detective – complex, vulnerable and utterly human. 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.
— Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) September 28, 2023
With his long career, Gambon’s legacy will reign on, and he will, no doubt, be in the hearts of many fans, Potterheads and others, always.
Written by Jade McGee.
Feature Image: Instagram / @harrypotterfilm