“Harry Potter” actor Daniel Radcliffe honored his late co-star Michael Gambon in an emotional statement in which he called Gambon “one of the most brilliant, effortless actors I’ve ever had the privilege of working with.” Gambon died Thursday at 82 years old.
“With the loss of Michael Gambon the world just became considerably less fun,” Radcliffe wrote in a statement to Variety. “Michael Gambon was one of the most brilliant, effortless actors I’ve ever had the privilege of working with, but despite his immense talent, the thing I will remember most about him is how much fun he had doing his job. He was silly, irreverent and hilarious. He loved his job, but never seemed defined by it. He was an incredible story and joke teller and his habit of blurring the lines of fact and fiction when talking to journalists meant that he was also one of the most entertaining people with whom you could ever wish to do a press junket.
“The sixth film was where I got to spend the most time working with Michael and he made the hours spent in front of a green screen together more memorable and joyous than they had any right to be,” Radcliffe added. “I’m so sad to hear he has passed, but I am so grateful for the fact that I am one of the lucky people who got to work with him.”
In a GQ video interview last year, Radcliffe recalled how fun and lively Gambon made the “Harry Potter” sets. He said Gambon would pull pranks right before the camera started rolling that would leave Radcliffe laughing uncontrollably.
“At which point, I was pretty much unable to recover and he could just snap into a performance with inherent gravitas and charm,” recalled Radcliffe. “Yeah, he’s awesome.”
Other “Harry Potter” actors also shared tributes to Gambon on social media. Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, wrote on Instagram: “So sad to hear about Michael. He brought so much warmth and mischief to every day on set. He captivated me as a kid and became a personal role model of mine for finding the fun and eccentricities in life. Sending all my love to his family.”
“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling called Gambon “a wonderful man in additional to being an outstanding actor,” writing on X/Twitter: “I absolutely loved working with him, not only on Potter but also The Casual Vacancy. My deepest condolences go to Michael’s family and everyone who loved him.”
Jason Isaacs, who played Lucius Malfoy in the series, added on X: “The greatest thrill of being in the Potter films was that [Michael Gambon] knew my name and shared his fearless, filthy sense of fun with me.”
“We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Michael Gambon,” the official “Harry Potter” social media account wrote. “He brought immeasurable joy to Harry Potter fans from all over the world with his humour, kindness and grace. We will forever hold his memory in our hearts.”
Richard Harris originated the role of Albus Dumbledore on screen in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (2001) and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002). Gambon took over the role after Harris’ death starting with “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004), and he continued as Dumbledore through the remainder of the film franchise.
Gambon’s death was announced Sept. 28 in a statement from his family that read: “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.”
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