Vale: Michael Gambon

Esteemed actor Sir Michael Gambon, best known for The Singing Detective and Harry Potter films, has died.

Esteemed Irish actor Sir Michael Gambon, best known for The Singing Detective and Harry Potter films, has died, aged 82.

“We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon,” his publicist said in a statement.

“Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia. Michael was 82.

“We ask that you respect our privacy at this painful time and thank you for your messages of support and love.”

The prolific veteran has over 170 screen credits on IMDb stemming back to Othello in 1965 and continuing to 2019’s Cordelia.

Gambon said that he had never seen a Shakespeare production before he acted in one himself.

He left school aged 15 and did not receive any formal training at drama school, instead gaining experience through performing in amateur productions. He was born in Dublin in 1940. In England at the age of 16 he began to work in amateur theatre as a set builder, then ended up on stage instead in bit parts.

He bluffed his way into his first professional roles by fibbing about his experience. Aged 22, he had his West End debut as an understudy in The Bed-Sitting Room.

He had minor Shakespeare roles at the National Theatre and auditioned for the company by performing the role of Richard III in front of Laurence Olivier but would go onto numerous West End roles.

On television, he had a massive hit with Dennis Potter’s musical noir The Singing Detective, which cast him as a mystery novelist hospitalised with psoriatic arthritis.

He also played Parisian policeman Maigret, based on the works of author Georges Simenon. Other credits included Wives and Daughters, Longitude, Perfect Strangers, Path to War, Emma, Cranford,  The Casual Vacancy, Doctor Who, Luck, Fortitude, and Breeders.

Films included The Cook the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, Sleepy Hollow, The Insider, Gosford Park Hail Caesar! and as Harry Potter’s professor Albus Dumbledore in the movie franchise.

His accolades include BAFTA, SAG, Critics’ Circle Theatre and Olivier awards.

Source: The Guardian

8 Responses

  1. He was a memorable guest driver on Top Gear in the ‘star in a reasonably priced car’ segment – such a performance, Jeremy Clarkson named the last corner after him called ‘Gambon’.

  2. Maigret was my introduction to him. I have vaguely traumatic memories of “The Singing Detective” as a ~5yo cos it was the first time I’d seen make up like that. Rest easy.

  3. So many incredible performances but for me ‘The Singing Detective’ made me sit up and take note of this awesome actor. Sir Michael Gambon will be sorely missed.

    1. Yes, The Singing Detective was a strange somewhat disturbing series to watch but made unmissable by Michael’s performance. Michael had a marvelous acting voice that was always recognisable and soothing to listen to. R.I.P.

  4. Loved Maigret and the singing Detective….just played one brought back memories of my Dad…
    Total respect…I would have loved to have seen him on stage….

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