Actor Michael Gambon, who played Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight "Harry Potter" movies, died after a bout with pneumonia this week. He was 82.
Tributes to the Irish-English actor, whose decades on stage and screen established him as one of Britain’s most venerated talents, arrived from “Harry Potter” stars Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe, who said the world is now “considerably less fun.”
“Michael Gambon was one of the most brilliant, effortless actors I’ve ever had the privilege of working with,” Radcliffe told Variety in a statement Thursday. “But despite his immense talent, the thing I will remember most about him is how much fun he had doing his job.”
“He was silly, irreverent and hilarious,” Radcliffe continued. “He loved his job, but never seemed defined by it ... His habit of blurring the lines of fact and fiction when talking to journalists meant that he was also one of the most entertaining people with whom you could ever wish to do a press junket.”
Gambon, who studied under the legendary Sir Laurence Olivier, had parts in acclaimed films like “The Insider” (1999) and “Gosford Park” (2001). But it was his role as Albus Dumbledore from 2004 to 2011 in six of the eight “Harry Potter” movies that made him an international star.
“Kind kind kind Michael Gambon,” Watson wrote Thursday on Instagram. “You never took it too seriously but somehow delivered the most serious moments with all the gravitas. Thank you for showing us what it looks like to wear greatness lightly. We will miss you.”
Emma Watson, left, and Daniel Radcliffe, right, are among the many Brits paying tribute to Gambon.
Gambon’s family issued a statement through his publicist Thursday to announce he’d died after “a bout of pneumonia.” The husband and father of three reportedly passed away peacefully with his wife, Anne Miller, and their son Fergus at his side.
“So sad to hear about Michael,” Grint wrote Thursday on Instagram. “He brought so much warmth and mischief to every day on set. He captivated me as a kid and became a personal role model of mine for finding the fun and eccentricities in life.”
Gambon’s career included four British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards, three Laurence Olivier Awards and two Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards. He was reportedly forced to retire from the stage in 2015, however, after struggling to remember his lines.
“I can’t do it,” he later told The Sunday Times Magazine. “It breaks my heart.”
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
I’m so sad to hear that Michael Gambon has died. He was hugely amusing, and such a tremendous guest, we even named a corner after him.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) September 28, 2023
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
This is how cool Sir Michael Gambon was - dancing (aged 76) to Victoria by The Kinks, in a break between shooting Victoria and Abdul pic.twitter.com/wOsuxn2OpV
— Eddie Izzard (@eddieizzard) September 28, 2023
I've just heard the awful news about Michael Gambon. The first time I ever laid eyes on him was in King Lear, in 1982, and if you'd told me then that brilliant actor would appear in anything I'd written, I'd have thought you were insane. Michael was a wonderful man in additional…
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 28, 2023
Sir Michael Gambon - THE GREAT GAMBON pic.twitter.com/BqS51Ai0g6
— Richard E. Grant (@RichardEGrant) September 28, 2023