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Michael Gambon, actor who played Dumbledore, dies at 82

2023-09-29
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SYLVIA HUI Associated Press LONDON -- Michael Gambon, the Irish-born actor knighted for his storied career on the stage and screen and who went on to gain admiration from a new generation of moviegoers with his portrayal of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight "Harry Potter" films, has died. He was 82. The actor died on Wednesday following "a bout of pneumonia," his publicist, Clair Dobbs, said Thursday. "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," his family said in a statement. While the Potter role raised Gambon's international profile and found him a huge audience, he was long recognized as one of Britain's leading actors. His work spanned TV, theater and radio, and he starred in dozens of films from "Gosford Park" and "The King's Speech" to the animated family movie "Paddington." He recently appeared in the Judy Garland biopic "Judy," released in 2019. Gambon was knighted for his contribution to the entertainment industry in 1998. People are also reading... Nine area residents accused of fraud in COVID-19 relief program Iowa restaurant inspections: Gnats floating in tequila, sauce with 'moldy fuzz' Nurse allegedly swiped pain meds from 50+ new mothers at labor and delivery Preps to Watch: Get to know these outstanding northeast Iowa athletes Iowa Oktoberfest taking place this weekend in downtown Waterloo Guilty verdict in fatal Waterloo convenience store shooting Cedar Falls resident solves puzzles, takes home second place on Monday Wheel of Fortune High School Football: Friday's scoreboard Friend describes burying gun following fatal shooting in Waterloo Driver charged with vehicular homicide in Volga fatal pickup truck accident Black Hawk County cities have contested races for mayor, city council Two arrested in shooting, hammer attack Iowa High School Volleyball Saturday Scoreboard High School Football: Waterloo Christian relishing in first 8-player victory Iowa's 76 yards against Penn State were second-fewest in Kirk Ferentz's 25 years The role of the much loved Professor Dumbledore was initially played by another Irishborn actor, Richard Harris. When Harris died in 2002, after two of the films in the franchise had been made, Gambon took over and played the part from "Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban" through to "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2." He once acknowledged not having read any of J.K. Rowling's best-selling books, arguing that it was safer to follow the script rather than be too influenced by the books. That didn't prevent him from embodying the spirit of the powerful wizard who fought against evil to protect his students. Fiona Shaw, who played Petunia Dursley in the "Harry Potter" series, recalled Gambon telling her how central acting was to his life. "He did once say to me in a car 'I know I go on a lot about this and that, but actually, in the end, there is only acting'," Shaw told the BBC on Thursday. "I think he was always pretending that he didn't take it seriously, but he took it profoundly seriously." Born in Dublin on Oct. 19, 1940, Gambon was raised in London and originally trained as an engineer, following in the footsteps of his father. He made his theater debut in a production of "Othello" in Dublin. In 1963 he got his first big break with a minor role in "Hamlet," the National Theatre Company's opening production, under the directorship of the legendary Laurence Olivier. Gambon soon became a distinguished stage actor and received critical acclaim for his leading performance in "Life of Galileo," directed by John Dexter. He was frequently nominated for awards and won the Laurence Olivier Award 3 times and the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards twice. A multi-talented actor, Gambon was also the recipient of four coveted British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards for his television work. He became a household name in Britain after his lead role in the 1986 BBC TV series "The Singing Detective," written by Dennis Potter and considered a classic of British television drama. Gambon won the BAFTA for best actor for the role. Gambon also won Emmy nominations for more recent television work -- as Mr. Woodhouse in a 2010 adaption of Jane Austen's "Emma," and as former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson in 2002's "Path to War." Gambon was versatile as an actor but once told the BBC he preferred to play "villainous characters." He played gangster Eddie Temple in the British crime thriller "Layer Cake" -- a review of the film by the New York Times referred to Gambon as "reliably excellent" -- and a Satanic crime boss in Peter Greenaway's "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover." 0 Comments Love 0 Funny 0 Wow 0 Sad 0 Angry 0 Be the first to know Get local news delivered to your inbox! Sign up! * I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

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