Renowned British stage actor Michael Gambon, a student of Laurence Olivier and a prominent figure on the UK’s theatrical stage, has passed away. Gambon enjoyed global success for his role as Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts and one of the most powerful wizards in the Harry Potter franchise. Gambon, who was 82 years old at the time of his passing, will be remembered for his talent and artistry, both on and off screen.
How did Michael Gambon pass away?
According to a recent family statement that was provided to a publicist, “The Great Gambon,” per the titled coined by Ralph Richardson, died “peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia.” Gambon retired from the stage in 2015 due to memory loss, but continued to act onscreen, capping up a magnificent seven-decade career. In 1998, Queen Elizabeth knighted him for his services to drama.
Gambon married mathematician Anne Miller in 1962, but divorced her in 2002 after his affair with Philippa Hart, 25 years his junior, became public. He is survived by his three sons, one with Miller (Fergus) and two with Hart (Thomas and William).
Michael Gambon: A Legend Of Cinema & U.K’s Theatrical Stage
Gambon, a Dublin native, was among the first group of actors recruited by Laurence Olivier for the National Theatre Company in the early 1960s. He was nominated 13 times for an Olivier Award, winning in 1986 and ’90 for Alan Ayckbourn’s A Chorus of Disapproval and Man of the Moment, respectively, and in 1988 for Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge. He won the first of his four BAFTA TV Awards for a performance 12 years earlier (The Singing Detective), with the show going on to win a Peabody Award after airing on PBS.
The mischievous, fun-loving Gambon assumed which was arguably his most renowned role as Dumbledore in 2004, following the death of Richard Harris. Olivier was also responsible for Gambon’s big screen debut earlier, casting him in three minor roles in Othello (1965), based on the National version. Between The Singing Detective and Maigret, Gambon appeared in Peter Greenaway’s controversial The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover (1989) as a vicious and destructive criminal opposite Helen Mirren.
After appearing in Toys (1992), Mary Reilly (1996), The Gambler (1997), and Dancing at Lughnasa (1998), Gambon had a big year in 1999, appearing in Plunkett & Macleane, Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, and the BBC’s four-part adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s 19th-century novel Wives and Daughters, which earned him another BAFTA.