Michael Gambon, Harry Potter Actor, Dead At 82

Award-winning Irish-English actor Sir Michael Gambon, perhaps best known for his noteworthy role in the "Harry Potter" film series wherein he played the astute, all-knowing Professor Dumbledore, has died. Beyond being a fixture in the magical film franchise, Gambon was also known for his roles in "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover" and "The King's Speech." 

The somber news was confirmed on September 28 via a public statement released by Gambon's public relations company on behalf of his family. "Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife, Anne, and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia," the statement read before requesting "privacy at this painful time," per BBC. He was 82 years old.

Following his death, many are looking back at the talented thespian's illustrious career and the mark he left on the industry. "You just do it," Gambon once told The Guardian in 2014 about how he always managed to move himself to tears on set. "That's what acting is."

Michael Gambon got his start in theater

As a budding actor, Michael Gambon started in theater and honed his craft while working under esteemed actor and director Laurence Olivier at the National Theatre Company. "He was one of my 'old boys' at the National. I started him in almost walk-on parts. He's a very important actor now," Laurence recalled to the New York Times in 1987 about Gambon's meteoric rise to fame. 

During his lengthy career, Gambon snagged four British Academy Film Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Laurence Olivier Awards. Still, Gambon was adamant that it wasn't until he took on the role of Professor Dumbledore in J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series that his notoriety became genuinely apparent. "It's very odd," Gambon confessed following the film's premiere in 2009, according to Today. "I hadn't realized before just how powerful these things are. I just do the job and go home and you forget it."

In February 2022, Gambon announced his retirement, revealing to London's The Sunday Times that his decision stemmed from some ongoing memory issues he was suffering from. "It's a horrible thing to admit, but I can't do it," he divulged. "It breaks my heart. It's when the script's in front of me and it takes forever to learn. It's frightening."