SIR MICHAEL GAMBON has died peacefully in hospital at the age of 82, his family has confirmed today.
The Irishman was born in Cabra, Dublin in 1940.
The versatile actor, who over the course of his lengthy career played Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and fictional French detective Jules Maigret, was the son of an engineer father and seamstress mother.
The family moved to London to seek work when Gambon was five, where he became a British citizen and was brought up as a strict Roman Catholic.
He made his theatre debut in Dublin in 1962 in Othello at the Gate Theatre, and has returned several times since, including a 2010 run in Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape.
In 1987 Gambon won an Olivier Award for performance as Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge.
More recently he replaced fellow actor Richard Harris in the role of Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight Harry Potter film.
A statement issued on behalf of his wife Lady Gambon and son Fergus Gambon, by publicist Clair Dobbs, 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.”