'Harry Potter' star Sir Michael Gambon dies at 82

Michael Gambon
Photo credit Aaron Davidson/Getty Images

The celebrated actor Sir Michael Gambon, best known to American audiences for his portrayal of Albus Dumbledore in the “Harry Potter” film series, has died at age 82.

Gambon, who played the headmaster of the magical school Hogwarts in six of the eight “Harry Potter” movies, had a career in film, television, theater, and radio that spanned over five decades.

His family released a statement that “their beloved husband and father” died “peacefully in hospital” with them by his side after suffering from pneumonia, reports the BBC.

Born in Ireland in 1940, Gambon made his stage debut in a production of “Othello” in Dublin. In 1963, the actor was cast in the National Theatre Company’s opening production of “Hamlet” directed by Sir Laurence Olivier and in 1986 became a household name in Britain after his starring role in the BBC's “The Singing Detective,” according to the Associated Press.

Though Gambon was beloved for his portrayal of the wise and patient “Harry Potter” headmaster, he preferred to play “villainous characters” and won rave reviews for his role as gangster Eddie Temple in the crime thriller “Layer Cake.”

Gambon was knighted for his services to drama in 1998.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Aaron Davidson/Getty Images