By: Jordan Park
Local News Editor
Michael Gambon, who portrayed the beloved Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, passed away on Sept. 27 at 82 years old.
Gambon was born in Dublin on Oct. 19, 1940. He moved to London as a child, where his mother worked as a seamstress and his father as an engineer, remaining there for the rest of his teenage years. As a teenager, Gambon found himself building theater sets and quickly realized he wanted to become an actor. As a young adult, he joined the left-leaning Unity Theater, taking improvisational acting classes at the Royal Court. After playing several minor and non-speaking roles, Garmbon made his mark in London when he appeared as Tom Conti in Alan Ayckbourn’s trilogy “The Norman Conquest.” The actor married Anne Miller when he was 22 and had a son, Fergus. Gambon had two other sons with set designer Philippa Hart.
The Irish-English actor claimed the hearts of movie enthusiasts and audience members alike, starring in various roles throughout his life. His work includes TV, radio, and theater, starring in dozens of films with roles ranging from Bertolt Brecht in the theater production of Life of Galileo to Uncle Pastuzo in Paddington. He is recognized by the younger generation as Dumbledore, the firm yet kind headmaster of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter franchise, assuming the role after Richard Harris passed away in 2002. He earned four UK television British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs), along with three Olivier Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards, in addition to a plethora of other nominations, throughout his career. In 1998, for his service to drama, Queen Elizabeth II knighted him, and he became Sir Michael Gambon.
According to the New York Times, his family confirmed his death on Sept. 28 through a public relations company. The statement revealed that“Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife, Anne, and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia.”
Cast members from the Harry Potter films also expressed their sadness about his recent death. Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter, shared with USA Today that “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.” Other cast members and crew, including Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley; Emma Waston, who played Hermione Granger; and author J.K Rowling, took to social media to share a small goodbye to their much-loved friend.
Gambon undoubtedly contributed immensely to the world of entertainment, and his legacy will continue to live on through his many memorable performances.
(Sources: CBS, CNN, New York Times, USA Today, Variety)