Michael Gambon, professor Dumbledore in ‘Harry Potter’ dies at 82

He was suffering from pneumonia

Michael Gambon-Harry-potter-professor-dumbledore-ap (L) A still from the 'Harry Potter' movie, Actor Micheal Gambon (82) | X/AP

Veteran Irish actor Michael Gambon, who played the legendary role of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter series passed away. He was 82.

A statement released by his family on Thursday confirmed that he died following "a bout of pneunomia".

"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," read the statement.

"We ask that you respect our privacy at this painful time and thank you for your messages of support and love," it further added.

Professor Dumbledore, the powerful wizard protecting his students from evils, gained recognition in the Harry Potter movies. Though he had not read any J.K. Rowling's best-selling series, Gambon had said that it was better to follow the script than be too influenced by the books.

Gambon was knighted for services to drama in 1998.

He was born in Ireland in 1940. He was raised in London and was orginally an engineer. He later became British citizen. His first theatre appearance was in a production of "Othello" in Dublin.

Later, he got his big break in the National Theatre Company's opening production, with a role in "Hamlet" directed by Laurence Olivier.

He was a versatile stage actor. He won Laurence Olivier Award three times. He also won Critics' Circle Theatre Awards twice. Gambon was also the recipient of four coveted British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards for his television work.

He had shared his preference for playing "villainous characters" earlier. He played gangster Eddie Temple in the British crime thriller Layer Cake. His other notable movies include King's Speech, The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and her Lover.

He is survived by his wife and son, Fergus. Later, he had two sons with set designer Philippa Hart.