Harry Potter's Michael Gambon Dead at 82

Harry Potter actor Sir Michael Gambon, who stepped into the role of Albus Dumbledore in 2004, has died at the age of 82, his family confirmed.

By Jess Cohen Sep 28, 2023 12:30 PMTags

The Harry Potter family has lost another beloved member.

Sir Michael Gambon, who stepped into the role of Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise in 2004, has died at the age of 82.

"Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia," his rep confirmed in a statement obtained by NBC News Sept. 28. "We ask that you respect our privacy at this painful time and thank you for your messages of support and love."

The official Instagram account for the Harry Potter franchise also honored Gambon on Sept. 28. "We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Michael Gambon," the message read. "He brought immeasurable joy to Harry Potter fans from all over the world with his humour, kindness and grace. We will forever hold his memory in our hearts."

Gambon, a renowned Irish actor, was cast as Dumbledore in Harry Potter after actor Richard Harris' passing in 2002. After Gambon's death, Harris' son took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to pay tribute to him.

"A brilliant actor. I saw him on stage several times, and he lives unforgettably in my memory," Jared Harris wrote Sept. 28. "He took over Dumbledore from my father, which was fitting as he over took Brando as my father's favourite actor."

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Rupert Grint, who portrayed Ron Weasley, also penned a tribute to Gambon. 

"So sad to hear about Michael," he wrote 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. Sending all my love to his family, Rupert."

(Photo by Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Gambon was also an icon of the stage, winning three Olivier Awards throughout his career and earning a 1997 Tony nomination for his work in Skylight.

Back in 2015, after decades on the stage, Gambon, then 74, revealed that he had to retire from theater due to memory loss.

"It's a horrible thing to admit, but I can't do it. It breaks my heart," he told The Sunday Times (via ABC News). "It's when the script's in front of me and it takes me forever to learn it. It's frightening."

Though Gambon continued with his film and TV work, being on a theater stage meant so much to him at the time.

"Theater's the only place for me to be," he explained. "When the curtain goes up, on you come. No one's stopping you. No one can shout 'cut.'"

"There's a thousand people sitting there and they can see you moving, all over," he continued. "They watch every part—how you walk, how you stand. The way you sit. The way you look at people."

Gambon's death comes nearly a year after the passing of fellow Harry Potter star Robbie Coltrane.

The actor, who portrayed Hagrid in the films, died in Oct. 2022 at the age of 72.

"Robbie was a unique talent, sharing the Guinness Book of Records' Award for winning three consecutive Best Actor Baftas for his portrayal of Fitz in Granada TV's series Cracker in 1994, 1995 and 1996 with Sir Michael Gambon," Coltrane's agent said in a statement at the time. "He will probably be best remembered for decades to come as Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, a role which brought joy to children and adults alike all over the world, prompting a stream of fan letters every week for over 20 years."

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