THE President of Ireland has led the tributes to actor Sir Michael Gambon who has died aged 82.
The Dubliner, who was born in Cabra, went on to become one of the most successful actors of his generation and a formidable presence on stage and screen.
His death was confirmed today by his family, who stated that they were by his side as he “died peacefully” in hospital.
President Michael D Higgins paid his respects to the actor this afternoon, stating: “May I express a sorrow which I am sure is shared by all appreciative of his work on stage and in film, on hearing of the news of the death of Sir Michael Gambon.
“May I offer my condolences to his wife Anne, his son Fergus and wider family, and to his fellow artists and many friends.”
President Higgins went on to recall the lengthy career enjoyed by the actor.
“Michael Gambon, born in Dublin, was one of the finest actors of his generation, having won recognition as an exceptional talent very early in his career, on stage, film, television and radio,” he said.
“More recently, a new generation of children and adults came to know him for his portrayal of Albus Dumbledore in the “Harry Potter” films.”
He added: “However, his was a talent delivered over six decades. 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.”