Michael Gambon: beloved actor who played Dumbledore dead at 82

Michael Gambon, the beloved character actor who took over as Dumbledore for Richard Harris, has died.

Some sad news folks: Michael Gambon, the beloved character actor who played Dumbledore in six Harry Potter films, has died after a bout of pneumonia. The actor was 82. Deadline offered the following statement via his publicist:

“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.”

Gambon famously took over as Professor Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban after the first actor to play the role, Richard Harris, passed away. Gambon would become iconic in the part, playing the role in six more Harry Potter films, with his initial death in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince a pretty scarring moment for many young fans of the series.

In addition to his work in the Wizarding World, Gambon had a long, distinguished career on stage and screen. He was terrific in Matthew Vaughn’s Layer Cake, opposite future James Bond Daniel Craig, played King George in The King’s Speech, had prominent voice roles in the Paddington films and Fantastic Mr Fox, and – believe it or not – almost played James Bond once upon a time. While Gambon doesn’t look like the kind of guy who would have played the debonair app, in the seventies, EON was relatively high on him to play the role. Gambon didn’t think he was good-looking enough to play the role but fondly remembered the process here:

I first remember catching Michael Gambon in the Robin Williams flop Toys. While that movie was a disaster, I remember loving Gambon as the stern, military-man villain. He was also wonderful in The Insider, Gosford Park, and even in an atypically comic role in Ali G in Da House where he played the prime minister opposite Sacha Baron Cohen.

Indeed, Michael Gambon was a legend of the stage and screen and will be missed.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/michael-gambon-dead/