Sir Michael Gambon, best known for his portrayal of Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, has died at the age of 82. The news was confirmed by his publicist on Thursday (September 28).
“We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon,” read a statement issued by publicist Clair Dobbs on behalf of his wife Lady Gambon and son Fergus 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.”
The statement also said Gambon’s family is requesting privacy “at this painful time.”
Gambon was a prolific actor with a career spanning over six decades. He appeared in a wide range of films and television shows, including The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Insider, Gosford Park, and The King’s Speech.
He was also a renowned stage actor, winning three Olivier Awards for his work in the West End.
The decorated Irish actor was cast in his most memorable role as Dumbledore in six out of the eight ‘Harry Potter’ films after the death of his predecessor and fellow Irish man, Richard Harris, in 2002.
Gambon’s performance as the headmaster of Hogwarts, beginning with 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was iconic. He brought warmth, wisdom, and humor to the role, and his death is a great loss to the world of cinema.
Gambon retired from the stage in 2015 after struggling to remember his lines in front of an audience due to his advancing age. He once told the Sunday Times Magazine: “It’s a horrible thing to admit, but I can’t do it. It breaks my heart.”
Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series is among those paying tribute to Sir Michael Gambon. Posting to X, formerly Twitter, Isaacs said, “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.”
Our thoughts are with Gambon’s family and friends during this difficult time.