There are few movie franchises quite as beloved as Harry Potter. The studio got outstanding U.K. talent to play the adults of the franchise, including Sir Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore. He was knighted for his contribution to drama before entering Hogwarts, which shows how significant his work was throughout the years. Still, generations of Potterheads will no doubt be mourning today, as Gambon has died at the age of 82.
This sobering news comes to us from CNN, which reports that Sir Michael Gambon passed away at age 82 due to a "bout of pneumonia". A statement by his publicist was issued with the news of his death, which 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, 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.
There you have it. Gambon's work has touched generations of movie, TV, and theater fans over the years. And as such, there will likely be many people feeling a sense of loss at this time-- even those who have never met the late actor. Still, it's a comfort to know that he was surrounded by loved ones in his final days, before his battle with pneumonia came to an end.
Gambon played Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise from 2004 to 2011, replacing late actor Richard Harris who played the role in the first few films. In addition to his time in the Wizarding World, Sir Michael Gambon had a long and wildly successful career as a stage and film actor. In fact, he earned three Olivier Awards, two SAG Awards, and four BAFTAs. And of course, he was honored by being knighted by Queen Elizabeth back in 1999.
Tributes for Gambon have already started pouring in online, including both fans and even co-stars from the Harry Potter franchise. James Phelps, who played Fred Weasley in all eight movies, wrote a touching post on Twitter about his time working with the late actor, which reads:
Very sorry to hear about the passing of Michael Gambon. He was, on and off the camera, a legend. Just a little memory of Michael pic.twitter.com/4M6E6inWMySeptember 28, 2023
More tributes will presumably be pouring in over the next few days, including from fans of the Harry Potter franchise. We've seen how the fandom memorialized Hagrid actor Robbie Coltrane by raising their wands for him outside of Universal's Hogwarts. Alan Rickman's death is also memorialized annually by the fans who will love his performance as Snape "always." Another celebrated Potter star who recently passed is Helen McCroy, who played Narissa Malfoy.
Our thoughts are with Sir Michael Gambon's loved ones at this difficult time. His outstanding work on the Harry Potter franchise is currently available to be streamed with a Max subscription.