Tributes to Michael Gambon poured in from his former “Harry Potter” castmates following the death of the actor, who portrayed Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight blockbuster films. Gambon’s death, at age 82, was confirmed Thursday by his publicist.
A statement from the actor’s family said he died after “a bout of pneumonia.”
“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,” his family said.
Daniel Radcliffe, who played the titular role in the “Harry Potter” franchise, expressed his grief over Gambon’s loss in a statement to The Times.
“With the loss of Michael Gambon the world just became considerably less fun,” he said. “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.
“He was an incredible story and joke teller and his habit of blurring the lines of fact and fiction when talking to journalists meant that he was also one of the most entertaining people with whom you could ever wish to do a press junket.”
Radcliffe shared that he grew especially close to Gambon during the filming of 2009’s “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”
“The sixth film was where I got to spend the most time working with Michael and he made the hours spent in front of a green screen together more memorable and joyous than they had any right to be,” Radcliffe said. “I’m so sad to hear he has passed, but I am so grateful for the fact that I am one of the lucky people who got to work with him.”
Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley in the film series, posted a photo of Gambon in full Dumbledore attire to his Instagram following the news of the Irish actor’s death.
“So sad to hear about Michael. He brought so much warmth and mischief to every day on set,” Grint captioned the post. “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, Rupert.”
Grint’s onscreen sister, Bonnie Wright, also posted a tribute to Gambon on Instagram.
“I was forever in awe of Michael’s presence and performance. His deep mischievous voice between scenes would vibrate through the Great Hall,” wrote the actor who played Ginny Weasley. “He was Dumbledore through and through a constant, warm and guiding figure. Rest in peace Michael. Sending love to your family.”
J.K. Rowling, the creator of the “Harry Potter” universe, shared in an X post her first memory of seeing Gambon perform.
“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,” she wrote. “Michael was a wonderful man in additional to being an outstanding actor, and I absolutely loved working with him, not only on Potter but also The Casual Vacancy. My deepest condolences go to Michael’s family and everyone who loved him.”
Irish actor Fiona Shaw, who took on the role of Petunia Dursley, recalled Gambon’s deep love of his craft.
“I will think of him as a trickster, just a brilliant, magnificent trickster. But with text, there was nothing like him; he could do anything,” she told BBC Radio 4. “He just loved the precariousness of reality and unreality, and of course, that made him a very great actor. … He did once say to me in a car, ‘I know I go on a lot about this and that, but actually, in the end, there is only acting.’ I think he was always pretending that he didn’t take it seriously, but he took it profoundly seriously, I think.”
Other cast members to pay tribute included Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy, and James Phelps, who portrayed Fred Weasley. See their tributes below.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.