Veteran actor Michael Gambon, who was known to many for his portrayal of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight Harry Potter films, has died, his publicist said Thursday. He was 82.
A statement by his family, issued by his publicist, said he died following “a bout of pneumonia.”
“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,” his family said.
No matter what role he took on in a career that lasted more than five decades, Gambon was always instantly recognisable by the deep and drawling tones of his voice. He was cast as the much-loved Dumbledore after the death of his predecessor, Richard Harris, in 2002.
The Dublin-born star worked in TV, film, theatre and radio over his six-decade career. He had won four Baftas.
His widow Lady Gambon and son Fergus said their "beloved husband and father" died peacefully in hospital with his family by his side, following a bout of pneumonia.
Sir Michael began his career as one of the original members of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre acting company in London. He went on to win three Olivier awards for performances in National Theatre productions.
He played French detective Jules Maigret in ITV series Maigret and was also known for his role as Philip Marlow in Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective on the BBC.
Sir Michael took on the role of Dumbledore - headmaster of wizarding school Hogwarts - in the hit Harry Potter series, based on JK Rowling's novels, after the death of Richard Harris in 2003.
He was nominated for Emmy awards for his role as Mr Woodhouse in an adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma in 2010, and for playing President Lyndon B Johnson in Path to War in 2002. He also got a Tony nomination in 1997 for a role in David Hare play Skylight.
The actor - known as "The Great Gambon" in acting circles - last appeared on stage in 2012 in a London production of Samuel Beckett's play All That Fall.
He was knighted for services to the entertainment industry in 1998.