On Thursday, the 82-year-old British-Irish actor Michael Gambon, whose career was initiated by his mentor Laurence Olivier and who was best known for portraying the wise professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter film series, perished.
According to a statement released by his publicist on behalf of his family, he perished following “a bout of pneumonia.”
“We are devastated to announce Sir Michael Gambon’s passing. Michael, a beloved husband and father, passed away peacefully in the hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus by his side, according to his family.
In the early 1960s, Gambon began his acting career on stage before transitioning to television and film. In 1989, he portrayed a psychotic mafia leader in Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, and in 2010, he portrayed an elderly King George V in Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech.
Also, In lieu of the late Richard Harris, he assumed the role of Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise beginning with the third installment of the eight-movie series in 2004. Gambon dismissed the praise for his performance, stating that he merely portrayed himself “with a fake beard and a long robe.”
Michael John Gambon was born in Dublin to a seamstress mother and an engineer father on October 19, 1940. Gambon’s family relocated to Camden Town in London when he was six years old, as his father pursued employment in the city’s post-war reconstruction.
At age 15, Gambon began an apprenticeship in engineering, and by age 21, he was thoroughly qualified. However, he was also a member of an amateur theater group and always knew he would act, he told The Herald in 2004. He was influenced by the American actors Marlon Brando and James Dean, whom he believed embodied the anguish of adolescent males.
In 1962, he auditioned for the great Shakespearean actor Olivier, who appointed him one of the founding members of the National Theatre at the Old Vic, along with other young emergent greats such as Maggie Smith and Derek Jacobi.
In the years that followed, Gambon established himself as a stage actor, particularly with his 1980 performance as Galileo in John Dexter’s Life of Galileo.
Also, In 1986’s The Singing Detective, he portrayed a writer suffering from a debilitating skin condition whose only escape from agony was his imagination. This role brought him widespread recognition. This achievement was one of his four BAFTAs.
In addition, he won three Olivier Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for ensemble casts for the 2001 films Gosford Park and The King’s Speech.
Gambon was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1992 and knighted for services to drama in 1998, an honor he referred to as “a nice little present” despite not using the title.
A mischievous individual, he frequently invented stories. For years, he displayed to his fellow actors a photograph of Robert De Niro that he had signed before ever meeting the American actor.
In an episode of The Late Late Show in Ireland, he disclosed that he persuaded his mother that he was close with the pontiff.
Gambon retired from the stage in 2015 due to difficulties with his long-term memory, but he remained active in film until 2019. In 2002, he told an interviewer that his employment made him feel like “the luckiest man on earth.”
Gambon and his wife Miller had a son in 1962 when they were married. Although they never divorced, in later years he had another companion, the set designer Philippa Hart, who was 25 years younger than him, and they had two children together.