29th September 2023 – (London) Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and other Harry Potter co-stars of Sir Michael Gambon, who portrayed Professor Albus Dumbledore in six films, have expressed their heartfelt tributes to the late stage and screen legend. Radcliffe described the actor as “brilliant” and “effortless,” noting that Gambon loved his job but wasn’t defined by it. Watson thanked him for showing them how to carry greatness with ease. JK Rowling, the writer of the Harry Potter series, hailed Gambon as a “wonderful man” and an “outstanding actor.” Fiona Shaw, another Potter star, praised Gambon’s versatility as an actor, stating that he could excel in any role.
Born in Dublin, Sir Michael Gambon began his acting career in Ireland before becoming one of the founding members of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre company in London. He received three Olivier awards for his performances in National Theatre productions. Although he considered theatre work to be his most important, Gambon gained acclaim for his roles in television and cinema during the 1980s and 1990s. Notable appearances include the BBC drama series “The Singing Detective” and his portrayal of Parisian detective Jules Maigret in an ITV adaptation of Georges Simenon’s novels. He also played Oscar Wilde in a BBC Two series focused on the writer’s trial and imprisonment. Gambon’s memorable film roles include “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover” and a comedic cameo as the prime minister in “Ali G Indahouse.”
In 2002, Gambon took on the role of Dumbledore following the passing of Richard Harris. J.K. Rowling reminisced about first seeing Gambon in a production of “King Lear” and never imagining he would appear in her own works. She praised him as both an actor and a wonderful person, expressing her enjoyment of working with him. Daniel Radcliffe, who played the lead role of Harry Potter, emphasized Gambon’s immense talent and his ability to have fun while working. Emma Watson, who portrayed Hermione Granger, noted Gambon’s ability to balance seriousness with a lighthearted approach. Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, considered Gambon his personal role model, appreciating the warmth and mischief he brought to the set.
Other actors, including Jason Isaacs, Fiona Shaw, and James Phelps, also paid tribute to Gambon, praising his acting skills, his sense of fun, and his ability to blur the lines between fact and fiction. Dame Helen Mirren, Gambon’s co-star in “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover,” described him as a naughty but funny friend. Gambon’s passing has left a void in the entertainment industry, but his contributions and legacy will always be remembered.
Sir Michael Gambon, known as “The Great Gambon” in acting circles, continued to work in film alongside the Harry Potter series, taking on diverse roles such as in the adaptation of “Dad’s Army” and “The King’s Speech.” He received Emmy nominations for his performances in “Emma” and “Path to War” and a Tony nomination for his role in David Hare’s play “Skylight.” Gambon was knighted in 1998 and held both Irish and British citizenship. His final stage appearance was in Samuel Beckett’s play “All That Fall” in 2012. Fellow actors, including American actor Ryan Phillippe, expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to work with Gambon and remembered his youthful spirit. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also paid tribute, recognizing him as a great actor who gave his all to every performance, whether in Beckett, Dennis Potter productions, or the Harry Potter series.