Harry Potter stars James Phelps and Jason Isaacs lead tribute to Sir Michael Gambon following the devastating news of his death aged 82.
Sir Michael’s family confirmed on Thursday that the legendary actor had died peacefully in hospital after battling pneumonia aged 82.
Actor James, 37, who played Fred Weasley alongside his twin Oliver as his brother George in the Harry Potter series, led the celebrity tribute to Sir Michael alongside Jason, who portrayed Lucius Malfoy.
After Richard Harris’ death, Sir Michael took on the role of Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter, and the late actor’s son also shared a touching tribute to Sir Michael.
Elsewhere, Anna Friel and Katherine Jenkins also took to social media to look back on their memories with the actor and pen loving tributes to him.
Kind words: Harry Potter star James Phelps (pictured with his twin brother Oliver) led the tributes to Sir Michael Gambon following news of his death aged 82
Devastating: Sir Michael’s family confirmed on Thursday that the actor, who played Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter, had died in hospital aged 82 following complications from pneumonia
On Twitter, James described his former co-star Sir Michael – who portrayed Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight Harry Potter films – as a “legend” both on and off screen.
He wrote: “I am very sorry to hear of the passing of Michael Gambon.” He was a legend in front of and behind the camera. Just a little reminder of Michael.’
James also reflected on a fond memory of Sir Michael when they were filming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, saying he was always “welcome to share his knowledge with his younger co-stars.”
James, who portrayed Fred Weasley since he was 14, wrote: “During the filming of HP6, I worked in the AD department throughout filming (apart from the days I was acting).
“And that’s why I spent many hours with Michael during filming. He was always very funny and very open to sharing his knowledge.
“One day we were filming Dumbledore’s final clock tower scene, obviously quite an intense scene. Between meetings, Michael asked what I was planning to do that weekend.
“Coincidentally, my brother and I read Peter and the Wolf with the Manchester Hall Orchestra. “Do you have the script with you?” He asked.
“That’s what I did, ‘I did that, let’s go over it and if you want I can give you some notes.'” So we spent his actual downtime discussing my weekend gig. It is a memory that I always had as one of the highlights of my HP days.”
Famous role: 37-year-old actor James, who played Fred Weasley alongside his twin Oliver as his brother George in the Harry Potter series, led the celebrity tribute to Sir Michael
Memories: On Twitter, James described his former co-star Sir Michael as a “legend” on and off screen and reflected on a fond memory with the star
Franchise: Sir Michael is pictured with Oliver and James Phelps and Evanna Lynch, who portrayed Luna Lovegood, at A Celebration of Harry Potter in 2015
‘Great’: Jason Isaacs also raved about working with Sir Michael and talked about how he learned about acting from watching him on screen
Villain: Jason played the formidable Death Eater Lucius Malfoy – the father of Draco (Tom Felton) – in Harry Potter.
Emotional: Richard Harris’ son Jared (pictured in 2019), who is also an actor by profession, also said in a sweet message that Sir Michael was his late father’s “favorite actor”.
Farewell: Sir Michael took over the role of Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore from Richard (pictured), who unfortunately died after the second film – The Chamber of Secrets
Jason, who played the formidable Death Eater Lucius Malfoy – father of Draco – in Harry Potter, also raved about working with Sir Michael and shared how he learned about acting from watching him on screen.
He wrote: “The great Michael Gambon has died.” I learned from Michael in The Singing Detective what acting can be – complex, vulnerable and utterly human.
“The biggest thrill of the Potter films was that he knew my name and shared his fearless, dirty sense of fun with me.”
Sir Michael took over the role of Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore from Richard Harris, who unfortunately died after the second film – The Chamber of Secrets.
And Richard’s son Jared Harris, who is also an actor by profession, also shared in a sweet message that Sir Michael was his late father’s “favorite actor”.
Jared, 62, tweeted: “Hilarious! A brilliant actor. I saw him on stage several times and I remember him forever. “He took over Dumbledore from my father, which was fitting since he took over Brando as my father’s favorite actor.”
Elsewhere, Katherine Jenkins, who co-starred with Sir Michael in Doctor Who’s 2010 Christmas special, A Christmas Carol, also paid a touching tribute to the star.
The opera singer posted a picture of the two on set and wrote: “My dear Kazran! My first acting role was opposite Sir Michael Gambon in the Doctor Who Christmas Special.
“He couldn’t have been kinder, calmer and more supportive. “Today we lost the fairest of legends #RIP #ripmichaelgambon.”
In another tribute, Richard E. Grant said: “Sir Michael Gambon – THE GREAT GAMBON”, while David Baddiel added: “The first time I ever went to a theater with a capital T was Michael Gambon in Brecht’s Life Of Galileo The National.” in 1980. It’s still the best stage play I’ve ever seen. REST IN PEACE.’
Sweet: Elsewhere, Katherine Jenkins also shared a touching tribute to the star and recalled filming with him
Co-Stars: Katherine starred alongside Sir Michael in the 2010 Doctor Who Christmas show, A Christmas Carol (also pictured: Matt Smith)
Respect: Anna Friel, David Baddiel, Eve Myles and Jeremy Clarkson were also among the stars who paid tribute to the actor
Anna Friel shared a snap of Sir Michael on Instagram and wrote: “One of the best.” One of my favorites. Great respect. “The Great Gambon”. “We will miss you very much, Sir Michael.”
Eve Myles, who appeared opposite Sir Michael in Henry IV, Parts I and II at the National Theater in 2005, wrote simply: “I love him.” [broken heart emoji].’
Eileen Atkins, who starred alongside Sir Michael in the revival of Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall, also paid tribute to the “great actor” on BBC Radio 4.
She gushed: “He was a lot of fun.” He was a great actor, but he always acted like he wasn’t taking it very seriously. Of course he takes it really seriously.
“But the presence on stage was great. He just had to enter the stage and he immediately captivated the entire audience. It was very nice to play with him when he behaved. He behaved towards me. Sometimes he actually played pranks on stage.
“There was something very sweet about him, this huge man who could look very scary, but there was something incredibly sweet about Michael.”
“I will always remember him hanging on my shoulder and the incredibly beautiful hands he always placed on my shoulder for the audience to see,” she continued. “I will always remember this man.”
Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison, who starred alongside Sir Michael in the 2016 war comedy Dad’s Army, said: “Funniest actor I’ve ever worked with.”
“I spent my lunch break on Dad’s Army listening to story after story from him.” Phenomenal actor. RIP Sir Michael Gambon.’
‘I will always remember this man’: Eileen Atkins, who starred alongside Sir Michael in the revival of Samuel Beckett’s ‘All That Fall’, also paid tribute to the ‘great actor’ on BBC Radio 4
Jeremy Clarkson also paid tribute to the star, writing: “I’m so sad to hear that Michael Gambon has died.” “He was extremely entertaining and such a great guest that we even named a corner after him.”
Sir Michael began his 60-year career with Sir Laurence Olivier and was very popular with younger audiences as Dumbledore.
His rise to become one of the world’s most famous actors was all the more extraordinary given his humble background: he was born in Dublin to a working-class couple who encouraged him to become an engineer after he left school at 15.
He was nominated for 13 Olivier Awards after appearing in countless productions of William Shakespeare’s works and excelling as Othello.
He also starred in a number of successful TV shows and won an audition for the role of the next James Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1968 after Sean Connery dropped out. But he told producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, “I don’t have nice hair and I’m a bit fat,” and the role went to George Lazenby.
He was knighted in 1999 and was popular for his role as French detective Jules Maigret. He became world famous as Dumbledore after taking on the role following the death of his compatriot Richard Harris.
Sir Michael said that when he played the headmaster of Hogwarts he would “put on a beard and play myself”, which he described as “not an achievement”, although his millions of fans disagreed.
A statement from publicist Clair Dobbs on behalf of his wife Lady Gambon and son Fergus Gambon said: “We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon.”
Michael Gambon with his wife Lady Gambon, with whom he had a son, Fergus
Michael Gambon and his partner Philippa Hart, with whom he had two young sons
In 1999, Sir Michael was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to drama. His son Fergus is an auctioneer and antiques roadshow expert
Sir Michael with Sir Michael Caine (left) at a press conference for their film ‘The Actors’ at the Four Seasons Hotel on May 8, 2003 in Dublin
The actor along with Dame Maggie Smith and Lady Antonia Fraser attend the press night for ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’ at the Duchess Theater in London on September 22, 2010
“Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside following pneumonia.” Michael was 82.
“We ask that you respect our privacy during this painful time and thank you for your messages of support and love.”
He married retired mathematician Lady Anne in 1962. Her son Fergus is an expert in ceramics and works for the auction house Bonhams. He also appears regularly on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow.
Sir Michael was a well-made working-class boy. He was born in Dublin, his mother was a seamstress and his father an engineer, for whom the idea of a career on the stage was completely alien.
At 15 he left school without a qualification and then began an apprenticeship as a toolmaker. At 21, he was a qualified engineer, but only worked as an engineer for a year before deciding to become an actor.
Sir Michael, who has won four TV Baftas, is known for his extensive repertoire of work in television, film, radio and theater over his decades-long career.
Speaking about it recently, he said of the role of the magician that he “actually doesn’t have to play anyone.”
He said: “I just put on a beard and act myself, so it’s not much of an achievement.” I never slip into a role – every role I play is just a variation of my own personality. “I’m not a character actor at all…”
Aside from acting, it was reported in 2015 that he divided his time between the £5 million country estate he shared with Lady Gambon near Gravesend in Kent and a house in west London for his young sons Tom and Will with the Set designer Philippa Hart divided West London. The boys are believed to be in their early teens.
Sir Michael divided his time between his wife Lady Anne (left) and Philippa Hart (right), who is mother to his two young sons Tom and Will
The star with Philippa Hart and her eldest son Tom at playwright Tom Stoppard’s 80th birthday party six years ago
Sir Michael and Philippa had been dating since 2000 when they worked together on the film Longitude, in which he played the role of 18th-century clockmaker John Harrison.
Within a year of their meeting, he openly introduced her as his girlfriend to Charles Dance, Dame Maggie Smith and other cast members in his next film, the Oscar-winning Gosford Park, in which he played an unfaithful aristocrat.
And while his wife was initially said to have been devastated by the news that Sir Michael had moved out of their home, she apparently came to terms with the arrangement when he later moved back in.
He then divided his time between both families, racing from London to Kent and back in a selection of sports cars, including a Ferrari, a Mercedes and a 178mph Audi R8, which were his pride and joy. The actor has always been protective when it comes to his personal life, once replying “What woman?” when asked about his marriage.
His love for fast cars was well known. He was also a qualified pilot.
Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has expressed his condolences following the death of Sir Michael Gambon, recalling how the actor was such a “great guest” that he took a turn on the BBC show’s circuit called Because he had gone through this, “The Gambon” had two wheels.
“So sad to hear that Michael Gambon has died,” Clarkson tweeted.
“He was incredibly entertaining and such a great guest, we even named a corner after him.”
Harry Potter with Robbie Coltrane and Michael Gambon in New York in 2011
Sir Michael as Winston Churchill in Churchill’s Secret, a 2016 drama about the war hero’s stroke and its aftermath
The actor played the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 2002 comedy Ali G Indahouse
Sir Michael attends the world premiere of Dad’s Army at the Odeon Leicester Square on January 26, 2016
The actor played the role of Private Godfrey in the hit comedy Dad’s Army. He can be seen in a pilot film from 2016
Sir Michael is interviewed by Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear. He later had a test track corner named after him
Sir Michael with Cate Blanchett during a film premiere in London’s Leicester Square
The actor plays Maigret, a French detective (left) in 1974’s Orson Welles Great Mysteries.
Sir Michael in 1987 with Dame Judi Dench at the Evening Standard Theater Awards
He is also known for his role as French detective Jules Maigret in the ITV series Maigret and for his leading role in the BBC series The Singing Detective.
Sir Michael made his first stage appearance in a production of Othello at the Gates Theater in Dublin in 1962 and was knighted in 1998 for his contribution to the entertainment industry.
He delivered a memorable performance in the 2015 BBC adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. His illustrious theater career includes appearances in Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests, The Life of Galileo and Nicholas Hytner’s National Theater production of Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2.
In 2016, he appeared as Private Godfrey in the big screen adaptation of Dad’s Army. His other film roles have included period dramas such as 2010’s The King’s Speech, 2001’s Gosford Park and 2017’s Victoria & Abdul.
Sir Michael also won American awards with Emmy nominations for “Mr. Woodhouse” in 2010 for an adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma” and as former US President Lyndon B. Johnson in “Path To War” in 2002.
His role in David Hare’s play Skylight, about the aftermath of an affair, also led to a Tony nod in 1997, and in early 1990 he now secured an Olivier Award for Comedy of the Year for the diplomatic comedy Man Of The Moment” at the Globe the Gielgud Theater.
Gambon retired from the stage in 2015 after he had difficulty remembering his lines in front of an audience due to his increasing age. He once told the Sunday Times Magazine: “It’s a terrible thing to admit, but I can’t do it. It breaks my heart.”
Comedian David Baddiel pays tribute to Sir Michael Gambon, describing his theatrical performance as “the best acting I have ever seen”.
In a post on
“It’s still the best stage play I’ve ever seen. ‘REST IN PEACE.’
The actor in a 2008 adaptation of Brideshead Revisted with Ben Whishaw and Hayley Atwell
Sir Michael with John Carson and Jennifer Hilary in a 1980 episode of Tales Of The Unexpected
Sir Michael on the first night of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame at the Albert Theater St Martins Lane in London in 2004