Harry Potter's Dumbledore actor Sir Michael Gambon has died
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Actor Sir Michael Gambon, best known for playing headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, has died at the age of 82.
Gambon died 'peacefully' in hospital after suffering pneumonia, his family confirmed, thanking fans for their 'support and love'.
A statement on behalf of his wife Lady Gambon and son Fergus Gambon, issued by publicist Clair Dobbs, said: “We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon.
“Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia. Michael was 82.
“We ask that you respect our privacy at this painful time and thank you for your messages of support and love.”
Gambon, who has won four TV BAFTAs, three Olivier Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards, had a successful career spanning five decades across TV, film, radio and theatre.
But he is arguably most famous for starring as Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise - a role that was previously played by Richard Harris, who'd featured in the first two films before his death in 2002, at which point Gambon took over for the remaining six instalments.
In 2016, Gambon appeared as Private Godfrey in the big screen adaptation of Dad’s Army, with other high profile film roles including period dramas like 2010’s The King’s Speech, 2001’s Gosford Park and 2017’s Victoria & Abdul.
He is also known for playing French detective Jules Maigret in ITV series Maigret, and for starring in the BBC series, The Singing Detective.
On stage, meanwhile, Gambon made his first appearance in a production of Othello at the Gates Theatre in Dublin in 1962, with later illustrious theatre credits including the likes of Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests, The Life Of Galileo and Nicholas Hytner’s National Theatre production of Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2.
In 1998, the actor was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to the entertainment industry.
While his professional acclaim made him a household name, Gambon preferred to keep his personal life relatively private, telling The Times back in 2003: "When people ask about my life, I tell them to mind their own business.
"In my dreams I'm an actor who isn't known at all. I don't want any of the stuff that goes with it. It gets in the way, it's this modern curse of celebrity and it's obscene.
"I want to be one of those actors who disappears into the night wearing a black cloak."