Sir Michael Gambon, celebrated for his portrayal of Professor Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight Harry Potter films, has passed away at the age of 82, as confirmed by his family. The versatile actor, born in Dublin, Ireland, enjoyed a remarkable six-decade career spanning television, film, theatre, and radio. With four Bafta awards to his name, he leaves behind a legacy of exceptional talent.
Sir Michael Gambon’s career began with a stage performance in Dublin in 1962, following his family’s move to London during his childhood. He gained recognition as one of the founding members of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre acting company, receiving three Olivier awards for his performances in National Theatre productions. His versatile acting prowess was showcased in various roles, including French detective Jules Maigret in the ITV series Maigret and the character Philip Marlow in Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective on the BBC.
Gambon assumed the iconic role of Professor Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in the Harry Potter film series after the passing of actor Richard Harris in 2003. His portrayal of the wise and benevolent wizard endeared him to fans of J.K. Rowling’s beloved novels. He featured in six of the eight Harry Potter films.
In addition to his Harry Potter role, Sir Michael Gambon’s filmography includes notable performances in Dad’s Army, Gosford Park, and The King’s Speech, where he portrayed King George V, the father of King George VI. His contributions to television, including his portrayal of Mr. Woodhouse in an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma in 2010 and President Lyndon B. Johnson in Path to War in 2002, earned him Emmy nominations. Gambon also received a Tony nomination in 1997 for his role in David Hare’s play Skylight.
Sir Michael Gambon was knighted in 1998 for his outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry. Although born in Ireland, he became a British citizen during his childhood.
His last stage performance took place in 2012 in a London production of Samuel Beckett’s play All That Fall.
Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar paid tribute to the actor, describing him as “a great actor” who gave his all to every performance, whether in the works of Beckett, Dennis Potter, or the magical world of Harry Potter.