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- Irish-English actor Michael Gambon has died at age 82.
- He was mostly known for his role as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies.
- Co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint led tributes to the late actor.
Notable film roles include a mob leader in Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover in 1989 and the elderly King George V in Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech in 2010.
Gambon played down the praise for his performance and said he simply played himself “with a stuck-on beard and a long robe”.
Harry Potter stars lead tribute to Gambon
“He captivated me as a kid and became a personal role model of mine for finding the fun and eccentricities in life. Sending all my love to his family.”
Early years and first steps in acting
Gambon left school aged 15 to begin an engineering apprenticeship and by 21 he was fully qualified.
Gambon as Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Source: AAP / Mary Evans
However, he was also a member of an amateur theatre group and always knew he would act, he told The Herald newspaper in 2004.
In 1962 he auditioned for the great Shakespearean actor Olivier who made him one of the founding members of the National Theatre at the Old Vic, alongside other young emerging greats including Derek Jacobi and Maggie Smith.
Building a reputation in the acting industry
Gambon was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1992 and knighted for services to drama in 1998, something he called “a nice little present”, although he did not use the title.