TRIBUTES ARE FLOODING in for Michael Gambon, who passed away yesterday at the age of 82. The cast of Harry Potter are in mourning following Gambon’s sudden passing and are taking to social media to share emotional tributes to the celebrated actor.
Gambon began his career on the stage, appearing in a multitude of theatre productions before transitioning onto the big screen in a variety of films. But his true claim to fame resides in his work with the Harry Potter franchise, in which he played the iconic Professor Albus Dumbledore.
Gambon will be remembered for his incredible range, with roles in everything from Shakespearean classics to side-splitting comedies. But perhaps most of all, particularly in the minds of younger fans, he will be always be remembered for bringing to life everyone’s favourite wizarding headmaster: Dumbledore. Gambon once said he hadn’t read any of the Harry Potter books before joining the franchise, believing it better to approach the role with no preconceived judgements on what the character should be. Clearly, Gambon was right. He came to embody the spirit of Dumbledore, and that of the franchise itself.
Lending his talents to a plethora of projects over his storied career, Gambon’s presence made a lasting impact on some of the industry’s biggest stars, who are now sharing their touching memories of actor. Among them is Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe.
“With the loss of Michael Gambon, the world just became considerably less fun,” Radcliffe said in a statement. “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. 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.
“The sixth film was where I got to spend the most time working with Michael and he made the hours spent in front of a green screen together more memorable and joyous than they had any right to be,” Radcliffe continued. “I’m so sad to hear he has passed, but I am so grateful for the fact that I am one of the lucky people who got to work with him.”
Elsewhere, those who worked with Gambon are sharing tributes on social media.
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
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
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
Who was Michael Gambon?
Michael Gambon appeared in numerous celebrated roles throughout his career, but he is best known for portraying Professor Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, in six of the eight Harry Potter films. Richard Harris was the original Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films, but following his death in 2002, Gambon took over the role for the remainder of the franchise and never looked back.
How did Michael Gambon die?
Gambon’s death has been attributed to pneumonia. His passing was announced on September 28th in a statement from his family. “We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon. Beloved husband and father,” the statement said. “Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia.”