The actor Sir Michael Gambon has died aged 82, his family has said.
He was best known for playing Professor Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight Harry Potter films.
The Dublin-born star worked in TV, film, theatre and radio over his six-decade career. He won four Baftas.
His widow Lady Gambon and son Fergus said their “beloved husband and father” died peacefully in hospital with his family by his side, following a bout of pneumonia.
Sir Michael’s family had moved to London when he was a child but he made his very first stage performance in Ireland, in a production of Othello in Dublin in 1962.
His career took off when he became one the original members of Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre acting company in London. He went on to win three Olivier awards for performances in National Theatre productions.
Fellow actor Dame Helen Mirren led tributes to her “naughty but very, very funny” friend.
In an interview for this weekend’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Dame Helen recalled how he had kept her “constantly in laughter” as they appeared on stage in Antony and Cleopatra, and during filming of 1989’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.
She added that the two had discussed growing older, and how that affected their work: Sir Michael was “utterly realistic” about his situation, she said.”He found it increasingly difficult to remember lines, which I have the greatest of sympathy with, and that sort of took him away from theatre,” she said.‘Magnificent trickster’
He played French detective Jules Maigret in ITV series Maigret and was also known for his role as Philip Marlow in Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective on the BBC.
Sir Michael took on the role of Dumbledore – headmaster of wizarding school Hogwarts – in the hit Harry Potter series, based on JK Rowling’s novels, after the death of Richard Harris in 2003.
Fiona Shaw, who played Petunia Dursley in the films, told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One: “He varied his career remarkably and never judged what he was doing, he just played.”
She said she would always think of him “as a trickster, just a brilliant, magnificent trickster”, adding: “With text, there was nothing like him. He could do anything.”
Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy in the series, wrote on social media: “I learned what acting could be from Michael in The Singing Detective – complex, vulnerable and utterly human.
“The greatest thrill of being in the Potter films was that he knew my name and shared his fearless, filthy sense of fun with me.”
And James Phelps, who played Fred Weasley in the films, called Sir Michael “a legend” in a tribute on X, formerly known as Twitter.He also shared a screenshot of text of him recalling Sir Michael once offering to go over lines one weekend when he had a part in Peter and the Wolf with the Manchester Halle Orchestra.
“We spent what should have been his downtime going over my weekend gig. It is a memory that I’ve always had as one of the highlights of my (Harry Potter) days,” he said.
Actor Dame Joan Collins, who played Sir Michael’s wife in BBC sitcom Mama’s Back in 1993, called him a “great actor and great fun”.
Dame Eileen Atkins, a longstanding friend of Sir Michael, told BBC Radio 4’s The World at One he was “a great actor, but he always pretended he didn’t take it very seriously” and that he had amazing stage presence.
“He just had to walk on stage and he commanded the whole audience immediately,” she said. “There was something very sweet about him, this huge man who could look very frightening – but there was something incredibly sweet inside Michael.”
She added: “I will always remember that man.”