We have some sad news to share with you today as it's been confirmed Sir Michael Gambon has died in hospital aged 82. The actor's family confirmed his passing with a short statement from his widow, Lady Anne Gambon, and son, Fergus.
"We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon," it reads. "Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia."
Many of you will, of course, know him best for playing Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise. Richard Harris played the character in the first two movies but was replaced by Gambon after he passed away in 2002.
His first appearance as the beloved J.K. Rowling creation came in 2004's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Gambon immediately made Dumbledore his own by giving the powerful wizard a little more flare. He'd continue playing the Professor right through until the franchise ended in 2011 with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2.
Jude Law would later take over the role, playing a younger version of Dumbledore in the short-lived Fantastic Beasts franchise. Warner Bros. Discovery is rebooting the franchise as a Max TV series, though there's been no word on casting yet as it's still in the very early stages of development.
Hilariously, Gambon later admitted that he had never read the Harry Potter books before being cast and told a UK newspaper, "I'd never seen any of the previous films, but working on the series was huge fun - and for lots of dosh."
Outside of the Wizarding World, Gambon actually began his career more than 60 years ago and was one of the original members of the Royal National Theatre alongside Laurence Olivier.
Throughout his storied career, he starred in movies and TV shows like The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, The King's Speech, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Singing Detective, Path to War, and The Casual Vacancy. His final acting role was in 2019's Cordelia. He won a number of accolades including three Olivier Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four BAFTA Awards.
In 1999, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to drama and received the Irish Film & Television Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.
This is a huge loss, and our thoughts go out to his family at this time.