Dumbledore actor Sir Michael Gambon dies aged 82

Sir Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter film series

Sir Michael Gambon has died peacefully in hospital at the age of 82 following a bout of pneumonia, according to his family.

The Irish actor was best known for playing gay wizard and Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in six of the Harry Potter films from 2004-2011.

His career in theatre, film and TV spanned six decades and saw him win four BAFTA Awards and three Olivier Awards. He also appeared in films including The King’s Speech, Paddington and Fantastic Mr Fox.

“We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon”, his family said in a statement.

“Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia.”

Gambon began his career at the Royal National Theatre in the 1960s and later became known for starring roles in TV shows including BBC sitcom The Other One (1977) and ITV series Maigret (1992).

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He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to drama in 1999.

For many, though, Gambon will be remembered as Albus Dumbledore, the eccentric headmaster of Hogwarts school in the Harry Potter film adaptations.

He took over the role for 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban following the 2002 death of Richard Harris, who portrayed Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films.

In 2007, Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who has since courted controversy for her views on trans issues, said that she considered the character of Dumbledore to be gay, despite his sexuality not featuring the original book series or film adaptations.

Dumbledore’s sexuality was later confirmed on screen in 2022 prequel Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, where the character was played by Jude Law.

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