Sir Michael Gambon has died at the age of 82, his family has confirmed.
The actor, famous for his role as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series, as well as in classic films like The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, Gosford Park, and A View from the Bridge, died peacefully after a period of illness, his family said.
A statement on behalf of his wife Lady Gambon and son Fergus Gambon, issued by publicist Clair Dobbs, said: “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, 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.”
Born in Dublin in 1940, Gambon came up through the Royal National Theatre with fellow acting legend Laurence Olivier and went on to win many awards including three Olivier Awards, four BAFTAs, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
In 1999, he received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II as recognition of his services to acting over the decades.
Whilst he starred in many Hollywood films, Gambon also enjoyed working with Shakespeare, appearing in many productions of his plays, including Othello, Macbeth, Hamlet, and Coriolanus.
His first foray into film was in a 1965 adaptation of Othello, and that role catapulted him into a career that would defy categorisation and see him star in dozens of other productions.
As well as achieving critical acclaim for many of his performances, he also found mainstream appeal working with directors such as Wes Anderson – with whom he made The Life Aquatic with Steve Zizzou and Fantastic Mr. Fox – and in the Harry Potter franchise.
Gambon took up the role of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore after the death of original actor Richard Harris.
He played the role from 2004 until 2011, when the film series finished.
In later years, he took on roles in TV, such as HBO drama Fortitude and horse-racing drama Luck, alongside Dustin Hoffman.
He also rekindled his relationship with the work of Harry Potter author JK Rowling, starring in BBC One and HBO’s adaptation of her book The Casual Vacancy.
It was announced in March 2018 that he was to star in comedy series Breeders, but he had to withdraw because of memory issues.
He is survived by his wife and son.