UPDATED: “Harry Potter” Alumni Pay Tribute to Sir Michael Gambon; Fans Raise Wands at Hogwarts Castle

Following the news on Thursday that Albus Dumbledore actor Michael Gambon had passed away, his colleagues from the Harry Potter cast and crew publicly expressed their admiration for the performer and shared memories of working with him.

Daniel Radcliffe made this heartfelt statement via his publicist:

With the loss of Michael Gambon the world just became considerably less fun. 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. 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.

On Instagram, Rupert Grint wrote about how Gambon’s mischievousness made him a “personal role model” for Grint.



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A post shared by Rupert Grint (@rupertgrint)


Emma Watson wrote to Gambon on her Instagram story, saying, “You never took it too seriously but somehow delivered the most serious moments with all the gravitas.”


Image of Dumbledore in "Prisoner of Azkban" with caption: "Kind kind kind Michael Gambon. You never took it too seriously but somehow delivered the most serious moments with all the gravitas. Thank you for showing us what it looks like to wear greatness lightly. We will miss you. xx"


Bonnie Wright also expressed her admiration for Gambon and condolences to his family.



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A post shared by BONNIE WRIGHT (@thisisbwright)


On Twitter, Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) recognized one of Gambon’s earlier roles – in the 1986 BBC miniseries The Singing Detective.



Along with Gambon, another Harry Potter actor who appeared in The Singing Detective was David Thewlis (Remus Lupin). He shared how he met Gambon on that project at the start of his career and called him, “simply the greatest actor of stage and screen I ever worked with.”



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A post shared by David Thewlis (@officialdavidthewlis)


James Phelps (Fred Weasley) shared a fond memory of working with Michael Gambon from behind the camera on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.



Afshan Azad (Padma Patil) posted to her Instagram story, as well as reposting MuggleNet’s own tribute with the caption “He’ll always be our Dumbledore.”


Michael Gambon with caption: "Sir Michael Gambon, 1940-2023," and caption below: "Icon, legend. RIP. What an absolute honour to say I shared the same room and screen with you for many years. Thoughts with his family and all the Potter family today"Dumbledore speaking in "Prisoner of Azkaban" from mugglenet Instagram story, reposted by afshanazad with caption "He'll always be our Dumbledore" and heart symbol 


Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley) spoke on BBC radio about Gambon.

He varied his career remarkably and never judged what he was doing; he just played…. I will think of him as a trickster, [a] brilliant, magnificent trickster. But with text, there was nothing like him; he could do anything. 


Harry Potter graphic design team MinaLima – Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima – expressed their sadness and posted an image of Gambon as part of the cover design of The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore.



At Universal Orlando Resort, fans gathered in front of Hogwarts Castle to pay tribute by raising their wands, as has become the custom whenever a Harry Potter cast member passes away.


fans raise wands in front of Hogwarts Castle

Source: WDW News Today


It’s interesting to note that this tradition originated with Dumbledore’s death in the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince film, and now the actor who played him is gone as well.

UPDATE (Oct. 1):

David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter films, made this statement about Michael Gambon, per Variety:

Michael was a mischievous, playful, yet also deeply thoughtful actor. I got the sense he was bemused, somewhat amused, by all the fuss and hoopla surrounding the world of ‘Potter,’ yet he poured his heart into creating a memorable, subversive, soulful Dumbledore. He was also enormous fun on set, pragmatic, accessible, funny, down to earth, and despite his enormous talent, effortlessly made all of the younger actors around him feel at ease. He was one of the greats, and we’ll all miss him.

Additional Potter actors Warwick Davis (Filius Flitwick/Griphook), Stanislav Yanevski (Viktor Krum), and John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick) have also paid tribute on social media.



Michael Gambon as self and as Dumbledore with caption: "I am very sad to hear that we've lost another legend. Sir Michael Gambon. I am grateful to have shared the same set with you and will treasure all the great memories, laughter and lessons forever. R.I.P"


Catherine Lai

I have been a fan of Harry since 2000, a fan of MuggleNet since 2005, and a MuggleNet team member since 2013. I believe in the power of stories to bring people together, and nothing does that quite like Harry Potter. I live in Toronto, Canada.