The 'Harry Potter' franchise's beloved Professor Dumbledore is no longer with us in this realm but devoted fans know that his legacy will always remain alive.
The wizarding world and the "Harry Potter" fandom were left shattered when they experienced the death of their beloved Professor Albus Dumbledore in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." But the fandom's grief increased sevenfold when Sir Michael Gambon, who brought the majestic wizard's character to life in the film franchise, passed away at the age of 82 on September 28, 2023. According to the Daily Mail, Gambon took his last breath in a hospital following a battle with pneumonia.
We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Michael Gambon. He brought immeasurable joy to Harry Potter fans from all over the world with his humour, kindness and grace. We will forever hold his memory in our hearts. pic.twitter.com/1CoTF3zeTo— Harry Potter (@harrypotter) September 28, 2023
He has had an illustrious career in the British theatrical industry as well as in Hollywood for an astounding 60 years. Gambon became a known face and figure to the younger generation when he starred in six out of eight "Harry Potter" films over the years. J.K Rowling, the author of the "Harry Potter" books, expressed her sadness over Gambon's demise in a tweet that reads: "I've just heard the awful news about Michael Gambon. The first time I ever laid eyes on him was in King Lear, in 1982, and if you'd told me then that brilliant actor would appear in anything I'd written, I'd have thought you were insane."
"With the loss of Michael Gambon the world just became considerably less fun," Daniel Radcliffe, who played the titular Harry Potter, told Variety in a statement. "Michael Gambon was one of the most brilliant, effortless actors I’ve ever had the privilege of working with, but despite his immense talent, the thing I will remember most about him is how much fun he had doing his job. He was silly, irreverent and hilarious. He loved his job, but never seemed defined by it."
Embarking on a grand new adventure, Sir Michael Gambon's legacy of enchantment and wisdom will forever light our way. Farewell, kind wizard.— Billy Snider (@sniderstyle) September 28, 2023
Meanwhile, Emma Watson—who played Hermoine Granger in the film franchise—shared an Instagram story thanking Gambon. "Kind kind kind Michael Gambon. You never took it too seriously but somehow delivered the most serious moments with the most gravitas. Thank you for showing us what it looks like to wear greatness lightly. We will miss you," she wrote.
Another of Gambon's "Harry Potter" co-stars, Fiona Shaw, said the late legend has shown during his long and varied life that he "could do anything" as an actor. Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley in the "Harry Potter" films, shared an Instagram post writing an emotional caption alongside Gambon's picture as Dumbledore. "So sad to hear about Michael. He brought so much warmth and mischief to every day on set. He captivated me as a kid and became a personal role model of mine for finding the fun and eccentricities in life. Sending all my love to his family," the caption read.
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Stars like Julia Roberts, Jason Issacs, Helen Mirren, Katherine Jenkins and the Irish President Michael D. Higgins were among many other notable personalities to extend their condolences on the passing of Gambon. The actor who hailed from Dublin, Ireland, was also famed for playing several Shakespearean roles on stage and he even auditioned to play James Bond at one point in his career, per an obituary released by BBC.
Gambon's first venture into the world of stage plays was when he got offered a small job at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, eventually scoring a lead role in a George Bernard Shaw play in London. He toured through Europe with a production of "Othello" and then moved on to the National Theatre in London. His career flourished over the years, earning him four BAFTA awards. Gambon announced in 2015 that he would be retiring from his stage career because he was finding it increasingly difficult to memorize his lines and even with a prompter and an earpiece on, he had difficulties concentrating on his acting.
Michael Gambon has been in our lives since childhood - brilliantly portraying our beloved Professor Dumbledore.— Muhammad Saqib (@ImMuhammadSaqib) September 28, 2023
The sadness of his passing feels like the sadness of Dumbledore’s death in the films, a scene that will forever hit different for all of us. ❤️#HarryPotter pic.twitter.com/TaWVYCtXxg
I will always remember the delivery of this line and the one about choosing between what is easy and what is right— Collins (@collinscollin77) September 28, 2023
He got international stardom after taking over the role of Hogwarts' headmaster from the late actor Richard Harris who initially played the character. After Harris' death, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" producer Chris Columbus and director Alfonso Cuarón started the search for a new actor, per Business Insider. In a 2009 interview with TODAY, Gambon revealed that he hadn't even auditioned for the iconic role.
"They rang me up and said, 'Will you do it?' Like any other job, I said, 'Sure.' Then you find yourself in the middle of this thing," he said at the time. Gambon received knighthood in 1998 but he was known to be a private person who often avoided interviews and escaped from the limelight. His last film role was in a 2019 film titled "Cordelia" where he played a character named Moses. We will forever remember him as a beacon of light in the "Harry Potter" films and his contribution to cinema.