Wands up, Harry Potter fans. News broke today that Michael Gambon, who played Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight movies passed away at age 82. The Associated Press reports:
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.
No matter what role he took on in a career that lasted more than five decades, Gambon was always instantly recognizable 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.
Gambon's radio, film, and screen credits extend far beyond 'Harry Potter', and he starred in 'The King's Speech', 'Godsford Park', and the animated 'Paddington' movie. He was knighted in 1998 for his work in drama, and retired from the stage in 2015. During the course of his career, he was nominated for various awards 23 times, and won 21, including four BAFTA awards.
Fans shared their grief and condolences on Twitter/X:
See you at Kings Cross Station pic.twitter.com/Jy9oG7iJpC— Middle Aged Gambino (@bored_in_jersey) September 28, 2023
'Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.'
Nooo... not Michael Gambon and David McCallum in the same week.#Dumbledore and #ducky are two of my favorite characters. 😭😭— TheAIArtist -WARPED (@WantWhatYouHave) September 28, 2023
🪄 Wands up for Dumbledore, everyone 🪄
🪦 RIP Michael Gambon 🪦 pic.twitter.com/jMTvYVl3DB
You know what they say: celebrity deaths come in threes.
Damn. This one is brutal. Not only was he a fantastic Dumbledore but he brought such vibrancy to all of the roles he embodied. His talent will be missed. https://t.co/OM0v7mkxi5— Joe (@joescranium) September 28, 2023
This one is brutal, especially when you remember Richard Harris, the original Dumbledore, Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid), and Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) have also passed away.
Sad. While most will know Michael Gambon from the Harry Potter films, I remember him from his performances on the stage. I saw him in a 2000 London West End production of Harold Pinter's The Caretaker. Masterful. https://t.co/PYgVY0QlKb— Tim Massie (@tcmassie) September 28, 2023
He had a very successful stage career, too.
Michael Gambon will live on in the hearts and the memories of every single person whose childhoods he lit up by his brilliant portrayal of Albus Dumbledore.— سعد 🇬🇧🧣 (@crowndefensx) September 28, 2023
"You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think we don't recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?" pic.twitter.com/PMB4Tks7B1
Yes, we do.
We’ve just learnt the sad news that Sir Michael Gambon passed away at the age of 82 😢— Daily Harry Potter (@TheDailyHPotter) September 28, 2023
We wish his family and friends all the love during this dark time 🪦
Our condolences are with his loved ones during this difficult time, too.
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore - Thank you Sir Michael Gambon for giving all Harry Potter fans one of the memorable & wisest character to cherish while growing up!— Vishal Verma (@VishalVerma_9) September 28, 2023
This scenes with Snape remains my favourite, Rest in Peace Sir!#Dumbledore pic.twitter.com/LgWmja3uxG
This is a great scene. 'After all this time?'
I was very young when the first 2 Harry Potter films were released so more or less grew up with Michael Gambon as Dumbledore. I watch all the HP films at least once a year & now, they’ll feel so different 💔 pic.twitter.com/5dEVexjV1P— Ben (@SMXLFC) September 28, 2023
There are many people who grew up with the books and films feeling the same way this morning.
And we'd be remiss if we didn't mention his legendary appearance on 'Top Gear.'
Most younger peoplewill remember Michael Gambon for his role in Harry Potter, I'll remember him for this: pic.twitter.com/p0DZL5byTq— Matt (@Matt212YT) September 28, 2023
Gambon collected cars, and the BBC talked about his appearance on the show:
Away from acting, he collected and restored antique guns and clocks and was a classic car enthusiast, making an appearance on Top Gear in 2002. His drive in the famous "reasonably priced car" saw him take the final corner on two wheels. The producers were so impressed they named the corner after him.
Here's the video, because Dumbledore taking a corner on two wheels is quite amusing.
Thank you for years of magic. Rest in peace.
J.K. Rowling, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and other 'Harry Potter' stars have also expressed their sadness and sympathies for the loss of Gambon:
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
Her tweet continues:
Michael was a wonderful man in additional to being an outstanding actor, and I absolutely loved working with him, not only on Potter but also The Casual Vacancy. My deepest condolences go to Michael's family and everyone who loved him.
The Hollywood Reporter has this heartfelt statement from Daniel Radcliffe, who played the titular character in the 'Harry Potter' series:
With the loss of Michael Gambon the world just became considerably less fun. Michael Gambon was one of the most brilliant, effortless actors I’ve ever had the privilege of working with, but despite his immense talent, the thing I will remember most about him is how much fun he had doing his job,” Radcliffe said in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter. “He was silly, irreverent and hilarious. He loved his job, but never seemed defined by it. He was an incredible story and joke teller, and 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.
Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, posted his remarks on Instagram:
So sad to hear about Michael. 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. Sending all my love to his family.
Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy, also posted on Twitter/X:
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
As did James Phelps, who played Fred Weasley:
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
Actress Fiona Shaw, who played Harry's Aunt Petunia, also remembered Gambon in an interview with the BBC:
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s The World at One, actress Fiona Shaw — who played Harry’s aunt Petunia Dursley — remembered him “as a trickster, just a brilliant, magnificent trickster.”
She added, “With text, there was nothing like him. He could do anything,” she added. “He varied his career remarkably and never judged what he was doing, he just played.”
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