Harry Potter cast members, including Daniel Radcliffe and Ruper Grint, have paid tribute to the legendary actor behind Professor Dumbledore, Michael Gambon. The actor died on September 28th following a bout of pneumonia.
In a statement to the press, Radcliffe mourned: “With the loss of Michael Gambon, the world just became considerably less fun. 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 joketeller, 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,” the Harry Potter actor added. “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.”
In 2003, the Irish-English actor stepped into the iconic role of Professor Albus Dumbledore, taking over from the late Richard Harris. His consummate portrayal graced six of the eight beloved Harry Potter movie adaptations.
Taking to Twitter, the author behind the franchise, J.K. Rowling, recalled her first exposure to Gambon’s talent. “The first time I ever laid eyes on him was in King Lear, in 1982, and if you’d told me then that brilliant actor would appear in anything I’d written, I’d have thought you were insane,” she wrote. “Michael was a wonderful man in addition to being an outstanding actor, and I absolutely loved working with him.”
Meanwhile, Rupert Grint, the actor behind Ron Weasley, remembered Gambon as a role model during his time working on the franchise and noted the late actor’s “warmth and mischief.”
David Yates, the director of four Harry Potter movies and all three of the spin-off Fantastic Beasts movies, also took a moment to remember an old friend. “Michael was a mischievous, playful, yet also deeply thoughtful actor,” Yates said. “I got the sense he was bemused, somewhat amused, by all the fuss and hoopla surrounding the world of Potter, yet he poured his heart into creating a memorable, subversive, soulful Dumbledore.
“He was also enormous fun on set, pragmatic, accessible, funny, down to earth, and despite his enormous talent, effortlessly made all of the younger actors around him feel at ease. He was one of the greats, and we’ll all miss him.”
See more tributes from Michael Gambon’s fellow Harry Potter cast and crew below.