Legendary ‘Harry Potter’ Actor Michael Gambon Passes Away at 82

Michael Gambon (left), Michael Gambon portraying Albus Dumbledore (right)
Credit: ABC, Warner Brothers, Canva

The prolific actor Michael Gambon, known for portraying Albus Dumbledore in many of the Harry Potter films, has passed away at the age of 82.

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His publicist has announced that the renowned actor passed away after “a bout of pneumonia.” Reportedly, he died peacefully with his wife, Anne, and his son, Fergus, at his side.

The statement released by Gambon’s family and his publicist reads:

We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon. Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside.

Sir Michael Gambon’s Career Spans Well Past Harry Potter

albus dumbledore harry potter

Credit: Warner Brothers

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Sir Michael Gambon may be known to a new generation of fans as Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and one of the most legendary wizards in all of Harry Potter canon, but the performer’s work spans over fifty years, and he is widely regarded as one of Britain’s best actors of his time.

Gambon’s performances have spanned across film, television, live theater, and radio shows. His deep voice and commanding presence made him iconic and recognizable in any role he played. The actor has contributed so much to the world of entertainment that he was knighted in 1998 by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to drama.

Gambon’s Work as Albus Dumbledore

albus dumbledore harry potter

Credit: Warner Bros.

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In 2022, Michael Gambon was cast as Albus Dumbledore after the death of Richard Harris, who played Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). Gambon took over the role, bringing Dumbledore to life for the six remaining films.

Although his performance is so captivating and authentic to the character of the powerful wizard, Gambon has admitted in the past that he never read any of the Harry Potter books. He stated that he felt it was best for him to follow the scripts instead of being influenced by J. K. Rowling’s best-selling books. Despite having never touched the source material, his performance was undeniably perfect for the complicated role of Albus Dumbledore.

From Engineering to Acting: Gambon Was Widely Versatile

Michael Gambon as albus dumbledore in Harry Potter

Credit: Warner Bros.

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Michael Gambon was born in Ireland on October 19, 1940, but raised in London. While we know and love Gambon as a legendary actor today, the performer began his professional life as an engineer, taking after his father, Edward Gambon, who served in World War II as an engineering operative.

But in 1963, Michael Gambon played a minor part in the National Theatre Company’s opening production of Hamlet, directed by none other than Laurence Olivier.

michael gambon as albus dumbledore in Harry Potter

Credit: Warner Bros.

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It wouldn’t take long for Gambon to reach critical acclaim on the stage, earning the Laurence Olivier Award three times and the Critics’ Circle Theater Awards twice.

Once he began acting onscreen, Gambon also earned a whopping four British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards. In his time, Michael Gambon also won a BAFTA award and multiple Screen Actors’ Guild awards.

About Isabella Reimer

Isabella Reimer grew up visiting Walt Disney World and relocated to Central Florida to be even closer to The Most Magical Place on Earth. She earned her Bachelor’s from Florida State University, where she studied Creative Writing and Women’s Studies. Her biggest hobby is bonding with the ikran at Avatar Flight of Passage, and her retirement plan includes becoming the 1,000 Happy Haunt of the Haunted Mansion.