RIP Dumbledore

( – Fans and colleagues around the world mourned the loss of actor Michael Gambon last Thursday, who died at the age of 82.

Gambon, who had a long career of over 60 years as an actor, was most well-known for playing the character Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight Harry Potter movies. A statement was issued by publicist Clair Dobbs on behalf of Gambon’s wife and son, who said that they were “devastated” by the actor’s passing and present at his bedside in the hospital where he “died peacefully.” Gambon suffered a bout of pneumonia.

Gambon was born in Dublin, Ireland, on October 19, 1940. He dropped out of school at the age of 15 and apprenticed under his father to become an engineer, but was soon enamored by the theater. A local theater group inspired him to pursue an acting career and he began appearing on stage in the 1960s. Along with Laurence Olivier, Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi, and other legendary actors emerging at the time, Gambon was a founding member of the National Theatre at the famous Old Vic in London.

His early career was spent building on a reputation in Britain, onstage as well as on TV and in movies. “The Singing Detective” made him widely known in his homeland in 1986, after which his career began to expand to the United States. He went on to star in successful historical dramas like 2010’s “The King’s Speech” and 2017’s “Victoria & Abdul.” Gambon was nominated for and won several awards throughout his career.

The role Gambon became most famous for is his portrayal of the elderly wizard Albus Dumbledore, mentor to the main character in the Harry Potter movies. The role was originally played by Richard Harris in the first two films. After Harris died, Gambon was brought in to replace him for the remainder of the series. Harris’ son, Jared Harris, responded to the news of his death and described Gambon as “brilliant.”

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, also posted her thoughts about Gambon’s death on Twitter, where she said he “was a wonderful man,” an “outstanding actor,” and that she “loved working with him.” She sent her condolences to Gambon’s family.

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