Michael Gambon, Harry Potter's Dumbledore, Dead At 82

Renowned actor Sir Michael Gambon has sadly passed away at the age of 82. News of his death broke on Thursday, September 28. His family confirmed that Gambon succumbed to pneumonia in the hospital, serenely, with his wife and son by his side, as reported by The Guardian. The esteemed actor, known for his illustrious career in theater, television, and film, was most famous for his iconic portrayal of Albus Dumbledore, the beloved headmaster of Hogwarts, in the blockbuster "Harry Potter" franchise. He stepped into this role in 2002 after the passing of his predecessor, Richard Harris.

Over the course of his five-decade-long acting career, Gambon effortlessly captivated audiences worldwide with his portrayal of a wide range of characters. His lasting mark on the entertainment industry was evident in his memorable performances in projects such as "The Singing Detective," "Gosford Park," and "The King's Speech." He was a prominent presence both on screen and on stage, with appearances in numerous television series and theatrical productions. Gambon's exceptional talents garnered him much acclaim, including four BAFTA awards and a Tony Award. In 1998, he was knighted in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of drama.

From engineer to actor, Gambon always had his feet on the ground

Born into a working-class family in 1940 in Dublin, Ireland, Sir Michael Gambon never received any formal acting education during his early years. Instead, he initially pursued a career in engineering but later decided to follow his passion for acting. Gambon's debut role was that of the "Second Gentleman" in a theater production of "Othello" in 1962. While many paramount characters ensued, his most iconic one almost didn't happen. Following the death of Richard Harris, who portrayed Albus Dumbledore in the first two "Harry Potter" films, producers initially approached Sir Ian McKellen for the role, but he turned it down. 

Subsequently, Gambon was cast, and the rest, as they say, is history. Despite his status as one of the most iconic actors of his generation, Gambon remained remarkably humble. In 2004, he told The Herald, "I can't remember any of the films I've done. You go from one to another, and they all blend into a big mass." Nonetheless, that "big mass" represents a remarkable legacy in the worlds of film, television, and theater.

After the sad news of the "Harry Potter" star's passing, tributes from his fellow industry colleagues began pouring in. James Phelps, known for his role as Fred Weasley in the "Harry Potter" film series, shared a heartfelt memory of Gambon on X, formerly known as Twitter, noting, "He was, on and off the camera, a legend." Gambon's last on-screen appearances were in the movies "Judy" and "Cordelia," both released in 2019.