Michael Gambon, Stage Star & ‘Harry Potter’s’ Dumbledore, Dies @ 82

September 28, 2023

Gambon in his most famous role (Image via Warner Bros.)

Sir Michael Gambon, who played Dumbledore in six of eight Harry Potter films (2004-2011), died Thursday, September 28, 2023, at 82, his family said.

An official statement read, “Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife, Anne, and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia.”

Gambon's last two films were Judy and Cordelia, both released in 2019.

Gambon was born October 19, 1940, in Dublin, later acquiring dual citizenship and spending the better part of his career in England, where he was a renowned stage actor.

He won three of 13 Olivier Award nominations — Ralph Richardson dubbed him "the Great Gambon" — breaking through with 1980's The Life of Galileo.

In the U.S., he was Tony-nominated for Skylight (1996).

Gambon worked extensively on British television, most famously as Philip Marlow in the miniseries The Singing Detective (1986).

His varied film work included The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), A Dry White Season (1989), Toys (1992), Mary Reilly (1996), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Gosford Park (2001), HBO's Path to War (2002), Layer Cake (2004) and Best Picture winner The King's Speech (2010), in which he played King George V.

A king among men (Image via Paramount)

He was, by far, most recognized as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, a role he inherited from Richard Harris (1930-2002). He starred in every installment from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) through the finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011).

The official Harry Potter Twitter account posted, "We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Michael Gambon. He brought immeasurable joy to Harry Potter fans from all over the world with his humour, kindness and grace. We will forever hold his memory in our hearts."

Gambon is survived by his wife of over 60 years and their son, and by his partner of over 20 years and their two children.

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