Actor Sir Michael Gambon Dies Aged 82

The actor died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia

By: Sep. 28, 2023
Actor Sir Michael Gambon Dies Aged 82

Sir Michael Gambon, who had an acting career that took him from Laurence Olivier’s nascent National Theatre to screen roles in the Harry Potter films, has died at the age of 82.

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

He made his acting debut in a production of Othello in Dublin in 1962, The following year, he was recruited to join Laurence Olivier’s fledgling National Theatre Company at the Old Vic, where he appeared in a range of plays between 1963 and 1966.

Gambon was famously dubbed “The Great Gambon” by Ralph Richardson. Alan Ayckbourn who directed him in 1987 in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, which won Gambon an Olivier award for his performance as Eddie Carbone.

Gambon also starred in Ayckbourn’s ambitious trilogy The Norman Conquests. He played the eponymous scientist in Brecht’s The Life of Galileo at the National Theatre in 1980 and a restaurateur returning to visit a former lover in David Hare’s Skylight, which earned him a Tony award nomination on Broadway in the mid-90s.

He was nominated for 13 Olivier Awards and he won three for A Chorus of Disapproval (1986), A View from the Bridge (1988), and Man of the Moment (1990).

He was knighted for services to the entertainment industry in 1998.

After starring in many films, he took over the role of Harry Potter’s professor Albus Dumbledore in several blockbusters, after Richard Harris died in 2002.

In 2014, he said he was having difficulty remembering his lines, saying “I feel sad about it. I love the theatre but I can’t see myself playing massive parts again.” In 2009, illness led to his withdrawal from starring in Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art at the National Theatre. He was replaced by Richard Griffiths.

After he had stopped performing on stage, his voice could be heard in Jamie Lloyd’s production of Mountain Language in the all-star Pinter at the Pinter season in the West End in 2018.

Photo Credit: Dan Wooler



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From This Author - Aliya Al-Hassan

Aliya Al-Hassan is UK Managing Editor of BroadwayWorld. A London-based theatre critic and journalist, she has a life-long passion for the arts, with a focus on theatre. She is always keen to... Aliya Al-Hassan">(read more about this author)

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