Michael Gambon, the Actor Who Portrayed Dumbledore in ‘Harry Potter,’ Passes Away at 82

Michael Gambon, pictured in 2016, has died at the age of 82.

Renowned actor Michael Gambon, best known for portraying Albus Dumbledore in most of the “Harry Potter” movies, passed away at the age of 82 after battling pneumonia, as per a statement released by his family and reported by PA Media news agency on Thursday.

“We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon,” stated his publicist Clair Dobbs according to PA. “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.”

Michael Gambon, pictured in 2016, has died at the age of 82.
Michael Gambon, pictured in 2016, has died at the age of 82.

“We ask that you respect our privacy at this painful time and thank you for your messages of support and love.”

Gambon, known for his prolific work across TV, film, and radio, had a significant role as the psoriasis-ridden sleuth in the 1980s hit series “The Singing Detective.”

A leading figure in his generation of thespians, Gambon, born in Cabra, Dublin, but raised in London, initially worked as an apprentice toolmaker and developed a lifelong passion for collecting antique guns, clocks, and classic cars.

While apprenticing, he pursued his acting dreams, studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and made his professional stage debut in Dublin’s the Gate Theatre production of “Othello” (1962).


Gambon gained broader recognition in the 1980s, particularly for his portrayal of Philip Marlow in the 1986 Anglo-American TV mini-series “The Singing Detective.”

His significant contribution to drama was acknowledged with honors, including being appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1990 and being knighted in 1998.

However, his iconic role as Hogwarts’ headmaster Dumbledore in the “Harry Potter” film series truly solidified his legacy. He took up the role following the passing of Richard Harris in 2002, and Gambon played Dumbledore in six of the eight “Harry Potter” films.

Tributes poured in for the acting legend, with co-stars like Rupert Grint and James Phelps remembering Gambon’s warmth, humor, and contributions to the industry. Helen Mirren hailed him as a brilliant, instinctive actor who made an extraordinary contribution to the British theatrical landscape. Throughout his career, Gambon received multiple Best Actor awards at the British Academy Television Awards (BAFTAs) and garnered two Emmy nominations.


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