Famous British-Irish actor Michael Gambon, best known for portraying Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight “Harry Potter” movies, passed away in a hospital on Thursday at the age of 82, according to his family, setting off a deluge of condolences.
Over the course of a celebrated, decades-long acting career in television, film, radio, and theater, Gambon earned four television BAFTAs and Olivier Awards. His much-loved portrayal of Hogwarts’ headmaster in the Potter series served as the series’ icing on the cake.
“We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon,” a statement issued on behalf of his family said. “Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia.”
Once described by fellow acting legend the late Ralph Richardson as “The Great Gambon”, he earned a reputation as one of British theatre’s leading lights while enjoying sustained success on the small and big screen.
He was an Irish-born actor who started out on stage, making his debut in a 1962 performance of “Othello” at the Gates Theatre in Dublin.
Leo Varadkar, the country’s prime minister, merely referred to him as “a great actor” in his response to the news of his passing. “Whether performing in Beckett, Dennis Potter, or Harry Potter, he gave his all to every performance,” the Irish PM remarked on X, formerly Twitter.