Stage and Screen Actor Michael Gambon Dies at 82

Gambon was nominated for 13 Olivier Awards, winning three, and played Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films.

Michael Gambon (with Eileen Atkins) in All That Fall at 59E59 in 2013.
(© Carol Rosegg)

Award-winning actor Michael Gambon has died aged 82.

To many, the Irish-English performer was best known for taking on the role of Albus Dumbledore in the majority of the Harry Potter films, following the death of Richard Harris. But he was a stage actor for the bulk of his career.

At the National Theatre, where he was part of the original company of performers taking on productions at the Old Vic (before the National’s home was constructed). Key credits included Skylight, A Number, The Caretaker, Endgame, The Norman Conquests, The Unexpected Man, and No Man’s Land. Nominated for 13 Olivier Awards, he won on three occasions – for A Chorus of Disapproval (1986), A View from the Bridge (1988), and Man of the Moment (1990).

His final stage appearance came in Eh Joe at Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh (2013) and Schiller Theater, Berlin (2014), while his final West End/London performances were in Krapp’s Last Tape at Duchess Theatre (2010) and All That Fall at Jermyn Street Theatre/Arts Theatre/59E59 in New York. In 2015 he announced his retirement from live acting. He was nominated for a WhatsOnStage Award for his turn in Krapp’s Last Tape in 2011.

A statement on behalf of his wife Lady Gambon and son Fergus 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.”

Winner of four BAFTA Awards, he was knighted in 1999.