Robert Hardy Passes Away at Age 91

Robert Hardy, renowned actor of film, television, and stage, has passed away at 91.

Though Potter fans know Hardy best from his role as Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge, he had previously made a name for himself playing another minister: Prime Minister Winston Churchill. So adept was Hardy at recreating Churchill’s distinctive voice that he played the Prime Minister in no fewer than six separate productions.

Churchill wasn’t the only historical figure brought to life on-screen by Hardy. After playing the title role in Shakespeare’s Henry V in the BBC’s acclaimed An Age of Kings series, he went on to portray a variety of characters ranging from the Elizabethan to the Victorian ages and beyond.

In the 1970s and ’80s, Hardy starred in All Creatures Great and Small as senior veterinarian Siegfried Farnon. The beloved series, based on James Herriot’s popular books chronicling the adventures of a rural vet, helped make Hardy a familiar figure in households across Britain.

In addition to his famous acting pursuits, Hardy was also renowned in historical circles for his expertise regarding the longbow and its crucial role in the battle of Agincourt. He was also instrumental in the reconstruction of the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s flagship.

Hardy remained lively and irrepressible throughout his long life, as evidenced in an interview with Harry Wallop for the Telegraph on his 90th birthday in October of 2015. In the interview, he talks about the process of immersing himself in Winston Churchill’s speeches to prepare for the iconic role. He also shares stories from his personal and professional life and even gives his opinions on the abilities of fellow actors.

Read Robert Hardy’s full obituary on BBC.com.