Michael Gambon, Irish-born acting legend, has died peacefully in hospital aged 82, his family has announced.
Gambon was beloved by audiences of all ages for his work on the Harry Potter film series.
He played fan-favourite, Albus Dumbledore in six of the series’ entries.
Gambon was an accomplished stage actor, beginning his career in 1962 in Dublin’s Gate Theatre, playing ‘Second Gentleman’ in Othello.
He was then discovered by Laurence Olivier, who invited him to become an original member of the Royal National Theatre Company in London.
Over his prolific career, he received three Olivier awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and four BAFTA awards.
He was knighted in 1999 by Queen Elizabeth II for services to drama.
A statement issued on behalf of his family, Lady Gambon and his son Fergus Gambon, said:
“We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon.
“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.”
Gambon was born in Dublin’s Cabra in 1940.
President Michael D. Higgins said in a statement:
“As an actor he seemed boundless, be it through his work with Sir Laurence Oliver’s National Theatre in London, to his performances at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. His friendship with the late Peter O’Toole reflected a commitment to the importance of work on stage that they shared.
"His achievements as an actor in several of Samuel Beckett’s plays, including at the Gate in Dublin was part of a career that included performances in the work of so many of the major playwrights of his time, including Harold Pinter.
"Sir Michael Gambon leaves a great body of work that will remain as a compelling legacy, and a reminder to all who appreciated his work, of all that he accomplished.”