Michael Gambon, a veteran British actor who attracted a whole new generation of fans when he took on the role of the wise, mysterious Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore of “Harry Potter,” has died. He was 82.
A cheerful actor in the classic British style, he once said that he enjoyed playing villains the most, and indeed played some memorable roles as menacing characters, including a satanic crime boss in Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. ‘
Michael Gambon: Early Life and Career
Gambon was born on October 19, 1940 in Dublin, grew up in London and initially trained as an engineer, following in his father’s footsteps. He made his theater debut in a production of “Othello” in Dublin.
In 1963 he got his first big break with a supporting role in Hamlet, the National Theater Company’s inaugural production directed by the legendary Laurence Olivier.
Gambon soon became a respected stage actor and received critical acclaim for his starring role in The Life of Galileo, directed by John Dexter. He has been frequently nominated for awards, winning the Laurence Olivier Award three times and the Critics’ Circle Theater Awards twice.
1 hour 45 minutesMay 13, 2005
Michael Gambon: television work
On the small screen, Gambon played the central role in the BBC series The Singing Detective and also played a detective in an adaptation of Georges Simenon’s Maigret novels from the early 1990s.
He played the role of Prior Walter in the HBO adaptation of Angels in America, appeared in the miniseries adaptation of Potter creator JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, and had a recurring role in the psychological horror series Fortitude “. It is also noteworthy that he appeared in the British cult car series “Top Gear”, in which he rose to prominence in the “Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car” segment so quickly that the series was later named “Gambon” in his honour.
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Michael Gambon: film work
Although he gained worldwide recognition for taking over the role of Dumbledore following the death of Richard Harris (who had played the character in the first two Potter films), he also enjoyed a long and successful film career in various roles .
During his long time on the big screen, Gambon worked with several notable directors – including Tim Burton’s “Sleepy Hollow” (1999), Robert Altman’s “Gosford Park”, Matthew Vaughn’s “Layer Cake” and Wes Anderson’s “The Life Aquatic” with Steve Zissou and “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, Robert De Niro’s “The Good Shepherd” and Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech”. He recently narrated the CoenBrothers’ Hail, Caesar! and lent his voice to Paddington and Paddington 2 as the titular bear’s Uncle Pastuzo. One of his last film roles was as theater impresario Bernard Delfont in the 2019 Judy Garland biography “Judy.”
Statement from the Gambon family
Gambon’s wife and son released a statement about his death through his publicist:
“We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon. Michael, beloved husband and father, died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside following pneumonia. Michael was 82 years old. We ask that you respect our privacy during this painful time and thank you for your messages of support and love.”