Sir Michael Gambon, who famously played Hogwarts’ headmaster Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight Harry Potter films, passed away on Thursday at the age of 82.
Soon after his death, the cast of the Harry Potter franchise paid tribute to the Irish-English actor, sharing their fondest memories with him on set.
Michael Gambon, who famously played Hogwarts’ headmaster Albus Dumbledore, passed away at the age of 82 following a bout of pneumonia
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The news of his passing came via a statement shared by the actor’s wife and son.
“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,” the statement read.
The Harry Potter cast paid tribute to the celebrated actor by sharing heartfelt messages on social media
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The fantasy film series’ leading actor, Daniel Radcliffe, shared a deeply felt message with Variety highlighting Gambon’s love for his profession and lighthearted character.
“With the loss of Michael Gambon the world just became considerably less fun,” he expressed.
“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.”
“He was silly, irreverent and hilarious. He loved his job, but never seemed defined by it. He was an incredible story and joke teller and his habit of blurring the lines of fact and fiction when talking to journalists meant that he was also one of the most entertaining people with whom you could ever wish to do a press junket.”
“The sixth film was where I got to spend the most time working with Michael and he made the hours spent in front of a green screen together more memorable and joyous than they had any right to be.”
“I’m so sad to hear he has passed, but I am so grateful for the fact that I am one of the lucky people who got to work with him.”
Author J.K. Rowling described the late actor as “brilliant” and “extraordinary”
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The legendary actor took over the headmaster’s role following the death of his predecessor, Richard Harris, in 2002.
The relationship between Radcliffe and Gambon was so close that the late actor pranked the Harry Potter star during the shooting of the third film, The Prisoner of Azkaban, by planting a “fart machine” inside Potter’s sleeping bag.
Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, Harry and Hermione Granger’s best friend, was one of the first Harry Potter stars to publicly mourn Gambon.
On Instagram, the actor wrote, “So sad to hear about Michael. He brought so much warmth and mischief to every day on set.”
“He captivated me as a kid and became a personal role model of mine for finding the fun and eccentricities in life. Sending all my love to his family.”
James Phelps, who played Fred Weasley, shared a memorable anecdote on X
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Emma Watson, the only girl wizard in the iconic triad, thanked the Dublin-born actor for his humbleness and commitment to his profession.
“Kind kind kind Michael Gambon. You never took it too seriously but somehow delivered the most serious moments with all the gravitas.”
“Thank you for showing us what it looks like to wear greatness lightly. We will miss you.”
Bonnie Wright, who played Ron’s sister, Ginny, in the Wizarding World, shared on Instagram “I was forever in awe of Michael’s presence and performance. His deep mischievous voice between scenes would vibrate through the Great Hall. He was Dumbledore through and through, a constant, warm and guiding figure.”
Emma Watson thanked Gambon for his humbleness and commitment to his profession
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James Phelps, who portrayed Ron and Ginny’s brother, Fred, referred to the late actor as a “legend on and off the camera”. He also shared a memorable anecdote of the time when Gambon helped him rehearse his lines for another project between scenes of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
The mastermind behind the successful Harry Potter franchise, J.K Rowling, wrote on X: “Michael was a wonderful man in addition to being an outstanding actor, and I absolutely loved working with him, not only on Potter but also The Casual Vacancy. My deepest condolences go to Michael’s family and everyone who loved him.”
The Scottish author said the first time she had seen Gambon in action had been during a performance of the play King Lear in 1982, which she described as “brilliant” and “extraordinary.”
Rupert Grint referred to the legendary actor as his “personal role model”
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Besides being an outstanding actor and four-time BAFTA winner, Gambon was a car lover and qualified pilot.
Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson recalled his appearance on the BBC show, calling him a “tremendous guest.”
“I’m so sad to hear that Michael Gambon has died,” he tweeted. “He was hugely amusing, and such a tremendous guest, we even named a corner after him.”
Bonnie Wright, who portrayed Ginny Weasley, honored the “warm and guiding figure”
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Gambon is the latest of 26 Harry Potter actors to have passed away, including Alan Rickman, who played the enigmatic professor Severus Snape, Robbie Coltrane, who portrayed the half-giant, half-human Rubeus Hagrid, and Helen McCrory, who played Draco’s mother, Narcissa Malfoy.
Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson recalled having Gambon as his guest
Image credits: JeremyClarkson
Naturally, Potterheads were left devastated by the death of Hogwarts’ wise and fair headmaster. Some have even compared the sad news to “losing a family member.”
Meanwhile, others have honored the actor by citing his character’s inspiring quote: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
Potterheads also paid homage to the fantasy saga’s beloved character on social media
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People also celebrated Gambon’s acting legacy and the indelible mark he left on their childhood
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