Renowned actor Michael Gambon, most famous for his portrayal of Albus Dumbledore in the majority of the “Harry Potter” film series, has passed away at the age of 82 due to a “bout of pneumonia,” as stated in a release on behalf of his family, reported by PA Media news agency on Thursday.
The statement, delivered by his publicist Clair Dobbs, expressed the family’s deep sadness at the loss of Sir Michael Gambon. It revealed that Michael had peacefully passed away in the hospital, with his wife Anne and son Fergus by his side, following an episode of pneumonia.
The statement also noted Michael’s age, confirming that he was 82 at the time of his passing. The family requested privacy during this difficult period and expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support and love from well-wishers.
Michael Gambon was celebrated for his extensive body of work spanning television, film, and radio. Another significant role in his career was his portrayal of the psoriasis-afflicted detective in the 1980s popular series, “The Singing Detective.”
As one of the leading actors of his generation, Gambon was born in Cabra, Dublin, but relocated to London during his childhood. He grew up within a close-knit Irish immigrant community in Camden and initially worked as an apprentice toolmaker. His lifelong passions included collecting antique firearms, clocks, and classic cars.
In an interview with The Guardian in 2004, he shared his enthusiasm for collecting, remarking, “I’ve always been an obsessive collector of things. Richard Briers collects stamps. I collect cars and guns, which are much more expensive and much more difficult to store.”
During his apprenticeship as a toolmaker, Gambon pursued his studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, eventually making his professional stage debut in the Gate Theatre’s production of “Othello” in Dublin in 1962. His talent caught the attention of actor Laurence Olivier, who invited him to join the newly established National Theatre Company.
Several years later, Gambon became a member of the Birmingham Repertory Company, where he had the opportunity to portray lead roles in his favorite Shakespearean plays.
His breakthrough into mainstream recognition occurred in the 1980s when he played the titular character Philip Marlow in the 1986 Anglo-American television mini-series “The Singing Detective.”
In 1990, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and eight years later, he received knighthood as a Knight Bachelor for his remarkable contributions to the world of drama.
However, Michael Gambon will likely be most fondly remembered for his portrayal of Hogwarts’ headmaster, Dumbledore, in the “Harry Potter” film series. He took on this role following the passing of Richard Harris in 2002, ultimately appearing as Dumbledore in six out of the eight “Harry Potter” films.
James Phelps, who played Fred Weasley in the “Harry Potter” film franchise, paid tribute to Gambon on social media, describing him as a legend both on and off the camera and recalling Gambon’s sense of humor and willingness to share his knowledge.
Throughout his career, Gambon received numerous Best Actor awards at the British Academy Television Awards (BAFTAs) and garnered two Emmy award nominations.