Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson are among those who have paid tribute to Sir Michael Gambon after his death aged 82.
The veteran actor was honoured across social media on Thursday following the news of his passing. The official Harry Potter account on X was among the first to pay tribute to Gambon, remembering his beloved role as Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the Wizarding World movies from 2004 to 2011.
“We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Michael Gambon,” the post read. “He brought immeasurable joy to Harry Potter fans from all over the world with his humour, kindness and grace. We will forever hold his memory in our hearts.”
We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Michael Gambon. He brought immeasurable joy to Harry Potter fans from all over the world with his humour, kindness and grace. We will forever hold his memory in our hearts. pic.twitter.com/1CoTF3zeTo
— Harry Potter (@harrypotter) September 28, 2023
Gambon made his first appearance as Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004, taking over the role after the death of Richard Harris. Co-star Daniel Radcliffe paid tribute to Gambon in a press statement, hailing the stage and screen legend as “one of the most brilliant, effortless actors” he has worked with.
“With the loss of Michael Gambon, the world just became considerably less fun,” Radcliffe said, per Variety. “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. He was an incredible story and joke teller, and his habit of blurring the lines of fact and fiction when talking to journalists meant that he was also one of the most entertaining people with whom you could ever wish to do a press junket.
“The sixth film was where I got to spend the most time working with Michael, and 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.”
Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley in the films, posted a touching tribute to Gambon on Instagram, writing: “So sad to hear about Michael. He brought so much warmth and mischief to every day on set. He captivated me as a kid and became a personal role model of mine for finding the fun and eccentricities in life.”
Emma Watson, who starred as Hermione Grainger, shared a heartfelt remembrance of “kind, kind Michael Gambon” via an Instagram Story, which read: “You never took it too seriously but somehow delivered the most serious moments with all the gravitas. Thank you for showing us what it looks like to wear greatness lightly.”
Other Harry Potter actors also shared tributes to Gambon on social media, including Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy in the films, and James Phelps, who starred as Fred Weasley. A further tribute from Jared Harris, son of Richard Harris, described Gambon as a “fitting” successor to his father for the role of Dumbledore.
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
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
Hilarious! A brilliant actor. I saw him on stage several times, and he lives unforgettably in my memory. He took over Dumbledore from my father, which was fitting as he over took Brando as my father’s favourite actor. https://t.co/BMGDDTtM2w
— Jared Harris🎭 (@JaredHarris) September 28, 2023
Harry Potter fans gathered outside the Hogwarts Castle at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando to pay tribute to the actor on Thursday. A video posted on Instagram by @UniNewsToday shows the crowd raising their wands in memory of Gambon — a custom originating from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when characters put their “wands up” to honour the passing of Dumbledore.
A prolific actor, Gambon made his screen debut in Othello in 1965 alongside Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith, going on to forge a career spanning over 60 years. He amassed a total of 148 film and TV credits alongside stage performances in the likes of Richard III, King Lear, Anthony and Cleopatra, and Uncle Vanya.
Gambon was knighted for services to the entertainment industry back in 1998 and won the BAFTA for Best Actor four times, notably for The Singing Detective.
He will be fondly remembered by all who knew him, particularly his family and loved ones. Gambon is survived by his wife Anne, their son Fergus, and two other children.
Adele Ankers-Range is a freelance entertainment writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.