Actor Michael Gambon passed away on Sept. 27 due to complications with pneumonia at age 82. Gambon was most famously known for his role as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series. However, his professional acting career began in the 60s — on stage and on camera — and lasted almost 50 years. His most notable works are roles in The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover (1989), The Wings Of The Dove (1997), and Page Eight (2011).
On Sept. 28, Gambon’s family released a statement to The New York Times announcing his passing which said, “Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife, Anne, and son Fergus at his bedside.”
The fall of a legend has sent the world into a spin, and of those who were close to him during his 8-year run on the Harry Potter films, a few have publicly commented and paid their respects. All of them describe Gambon as fearless, warm, and mischievous. With the tributes flooding social media, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Gambon will be dearly missed by all.
James Phelps, who played Fred Weasley in the franchise, was the first to post his sorrows and prayers online, calling Gambon “a legend,” and sharing a sweet memory of their time together.
Very sorry to hear about the passing of Michael Gambon. He was, on and off the camera, a legend. Just a little memory of Michael pic.twitter.com/4M6E6inWMy
— James Phelps (@James_Phelps) September 28, 2023
Jason Issacs, who played Lucius Malfoy, similarly commented in remembrance of the “Magnificent Michael Gambon,” a brilliant actor who was “complex, vulnerable and utterly human.”
Magnificent Michael Gambon has died. I learned what acting could be from Michael in The Singing Detective – complex, vulnerable and utterly human. The greatest thrill of being in the Potter films was that he knew my name and shared his fearless, filthy sense of fun with me.
— Jason Isaacs (@jasonsfolly) September 28, 2023
Rupert Grint, the actor behind Ronald Weasley, later posted the iconic photo of Gambon in his role of Dumbledore from Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, and captioned it with a mention of the “warmth and mischief [he] to every day on set.
Finally, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, himself) released a statement to Entertainment Weekly addressing Gambon’s passing: “With the loss of Michael Gambon the world just became considerably less fun. 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.”
Radcliffe also reminisces on his time spent with Gambon on the set of Harry Potter’s sixth film, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince. “He made the hours spent in front of a green screen together more memorable and joyous than they had any right to be. 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,” Radcliffe said in his statement.
As Dumbledore phrased it in The Goblet Of Fire, “Today, we acknowledge a really terrible loss.” While Gambon’s family, friends, coworkers, and the cast of Harry Potter, grieve, the world grieves with them. Gambon’s fans stretch three generations, and today, we are stopped in our tracks. Let us raise our wands, and hear the phoenix’s lament in our hearts.