Sir Michael Gambon has cast his final spell. The revered Irish actor, who famously played Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise, died at the age of 82 after a battle with pneumonia, according to Variety.
“We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon,” the family said in a statement on September 28. “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 notably played Dumbledore in six out of the eight Harry Potter films alongside Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and more. He made his first appearance as the beloved character in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Michael replaced Richard Harris, who originated the role and died in 2002.
Dumbledore was known for his wise words to The Boy Who Lived throughout Harry’s time at Hogwarts. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Dumbledore said, “After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
Throughout his long and storied career, Michael starred in countless films. He made his film debut in the 1965 Othello adaptation. He had roles in The King’s Speech, Gosford Park, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and so many more. Michael was a respected stage actor as well, having won three Olivier Awards over the course of his career.
He also played Mr. Laurence in the critically acclaimed 2017 Little Women miniseries that aired on PBS. His final film roles were in 2019. He played Bernard Delfont in Judy alongside Renee Zellweger and starred in the film Cordelia.
Michael is one of eight notable Harry Potter stars who have passed away over the years. Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid, died in 2022 at the age of 72. Helen McCrory, who starred as Narcissa Malfoy, died at 52 in 2021 after a battle with cancer. Alan Rickman, Verne Troyer, John Hurt, Richard Griffiths, and Richard Harris have also died.