Famous British- Irish actor Michael Gambon, best known by global audience for his famous character as the wise Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movie franchise died peacefully in a hospital in London at the age of 82 on Thursday. Gambon’s career was launched by his mentor Laurence Olivier.
Michael John Gambon was born on October 19th, 1940, in Dublin to a seamstress mother and his father was an engineer. The family moved to Camden Town in London when Gambon was six as his father got work in the city’s post-war rebuilding.
Michael Gambon started his acting career in 1960s from stage and later he moved to film and TV. Gambon’s noteworthy roles are a psychotic mob leader in Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover in 1989and the elderly King George V in Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech.
But the most famous character he played is the character of Professor Dumbledore in Harry Potter franchise. Gambon took this role from the third series of the film which is an eight-series film. He took on this role from late Richard Harris in 2004, Gambon played the character with a stuck n beard and with absolute justice and perfection.
When Gambon was 15 he left school and formal education. He started doing apprenticeship to become an engineer, by 21 he was a qualified engineer. Along with his profession as an engineer he was also a part of a mature theater group in London. He always believed that he would become an actor. His inspirations were American actor Marlon Brando and James Dean.
In 1962, he auditioned for the great Shakespearean actor Olivier. Which resulted him as one of the founding members of the National theater at the Old Vic. Over these years Gambon established himself as one of the best stage actors. His role in 1980 as Galileo in John Dexter’s life of Galileo was pick of his performances on stages which also gave him a lot of popularity.
1980s brought lot of attention towards Gambon, specially after his lead role performance in TV show The Singing Detective in 1986.
The performance in The Singing Detective won him one of his four BAFTAs. He also won three Olivier Awards and two ensemble cast Screen Actors Guild Awards for Gosford Park and The King’s Speech. Gambon was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1992 and knighted for services to drama in 1998. Michael Gambon didn’t use this tittle with his name ever, still he called this recognition “a little present”.
Gambon retired from the stage in 2015 after suffering long-term memory problems but continued to act onscreen until 2019. Gambon married Anne Miller in 1962, and the couple had a son. While they never divorced, in later years he also had another partner, set designer Philippa Hart, who was 25 years younger then him, with whom he had two children.