Sir Michael Gambon, renowned for his iconic portrayal of Professor Albus Dumbledore in the immensely successful Harry Potter franchise, as well as his distinguished stage and screen career, has sadly passed away at the age of 82.
Gambon’s passing was confirmed in a statement from his publicist released on Thursday, September 28, stating that he had died peacefully “following a bout of pneumonia”.
“We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon,” the statement read.
“Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia. Michael was 82.
“We ask that you respect our privacy at this painful time and thank you for your messages of support and love.”
The news comes as a shock to many fans who had grown to adore his talent and versatile performances over the years.
Born October 19, 1940, Gambon began his acting journey alongside Laurence Olivier at the Royal National Theatre.
His talent on the stage earned him thirteen Olivier Award nominations, with wins for A Chorus of Disapproval (1985), A View from the Bridge (1987), and Man of the Moment (1990). He ventured to Broadway in 1997, securing a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play for his role in David Hare’s Skylight.
On the silver screen, Gambon made his film debut in Othello (1965) and delivered memorable performances in movies like The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), The Wings of the Dove (1997), The Insider (1999), Gosford Park (2001), Amazing Grace (2006), The King’s Speech (2010), Quartet (2012), and Victoria & Abdul (2017). His role as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series from 2004 to 2011 solidified his international fame.
Gambon’s television career thrived, with four BAFTA Awards for his work in The Singing Detective (1986), Wives and Daughters (1999), Longitude (2000), and Perfect Strangers (2001). He received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Path to War (2002) and Emma (2009). Notable television projects included Cranford (2007) and The Casual Vacancy (2015). In 2017, he was honoured with the Irish Film & Television Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. His incredible legacy was recognised in 2020 when he was listed 27th among Ireland’s greatest film actors by The Irish Times.
In 1998, his outstanding contributions to drama were recognised with a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.
Tributes have been pouring in from fellow actors and fans alike, all expressing their grief and celebrating Gambon’s incredible contributions to the world of entertainment.
This is how cool Sir Michael Gambon was – dancing (aged 76) to Victoria by The Kinks, in a break between shooting Victoria and Abdul pic.twitter.com/wOsuxn2OpV
— Eddie Izzard (@eddieizzard) September 28, 2023
RIP Michael Gambon
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light” – Albus Dumbledore pic.twitter.com/xl8ircdql6
— Spencer Morgan (@spencermorgan93) September 28, 2023
Very sorry to hear of the death of the great Sir Michael Gambon aged 82, here in an interview explaining why he didn’t like being interviewed. RIP Michael. pic.twitter.com/MQOmlvHBlF
— John Pitchford🌹💙 (@Johnnypapa64) September 28, 2023
I’ve just heard the awful news about Michael Gambon. The first time I ever laid eyes on him was in King Lear, in 1982, and if you’d told me then that brilliant actor would appear in anything I’d written, I’d have thought you were insane. Michael was a wonderful man in additional…
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 28, 2023
I’m so sad to hear that Michael Gambon has died. He was hugely amusing, and such a tremendous guest, we even named a corner after him.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) September 28, 2023
Sir Michael Gambon – THE GREAT GAMBON pic.twitter.com/BqS51Ai0g6
— Richard E. Grant (@RichardEGrant) September 28, 2023
Gambon is survived by his wife, Anne and son Fergus, as well as two children, Will and Tom, with Philippa Hart.