Michael Gambon, who played Professor Dumbledore in the “Harry Potter” films and was widely hailed as one of the greatest British actors, has died. He was 82.
Mr. Gambon’s family confirmed his death in a brief statement issued on Thursday through a public relations company. “Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife, Anne, and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia,” the statement said.
The breakthrough that led the actor Ralph Richardson to call him “the great Gambon” came with Mr. Gambon’s performance in Brecht’s “Life of Galileo” at London’s National Theater in 1980, although he had already enjoyed modest success, notably in plays by Alan Ayckbourn and Harold Pinter.
Peter Hall, then the National Theater’s artistic director, described Mr. Gambon as “unsentimental, dangerous and immensely powerful,” and recalled in his autobiography how he had approached four leading directors to accept him in the title role, only for them to reject him as “not starry enough.”