Remembering Michael Gambon and other ‘Harry Potter' actors who have died

Gambon, who portrayed Dumbledore from the third film on, died Thursday at the age of 82

Alan Rickman Severus Snape
Warner Bros. Entertainment

To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.

Those were the wise words of Albus Dumbledore in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," the first book and movie in a franchise that gave life to some of this generation's most beloved fictional characters.

With seven books, published between 1997 and 2007, and eight movies, released between 2001 and 2011, many characters passed away in the pages of J.K. Rowling's novels and on screen. 

Some of the actors who depicted those characters have also passed away, with each departure causing heartache among a legion of fans who have become so attached and devoted to the Harry Potter universe.

Michael Gambon, the actor who played Dumbledore beginning with the third installment of the films, died Thursday at the age of 82. 

"We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of Sir Michael Gambon," the official Harry Potter account posted on X. "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."

Here's a look back at some of the actors and actresses from the Harry Potter films who have passed. 

“Do not pity the dead, Harry," Dumbledore once told Potter. "Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.”

Michael Gambon - Albus Dumbledore

Oct. 19, 1940 - Sept. 28, 2023

Gambon took over the role of Hogwarts Headmaster in "Prisoner of Azkaban," the third film in the Harry Potter series. 

Richard Harris – Albus Dumbledore

Oct. 1, 1930 - Oct. 25, 2002

Harris was the original Dumbledore in the Harry Potter film series, starring in "Sorcerer's Stone" and "The Chamber of Secrets." 

Alan Rickman - Severus Snape

Feb. 21, 1946 - Jan. 14, 2016

The beloved British actor who played the skilled, dark professor rose to global fame as Hans Gruber in "Die Hard."  

Robbie Coltrane - Rubeus Hagrid

March 30, 1950 - Oct. 14, 2022

Coltrane played the larger-than-life, half-giant wizard who first informed Harry Potter of his powers. 

Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane, who played Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, has died at 72.

Helen McCrory - Narcissa Malfoy

Aug. 17, 1968 - April 16, 2021

McCrory played the mother of Lucius Malfoy. She was also starring in the series "Peaky Blinders" when she died of cancer in 2021. 

Timothy Bateson - Kreacher

April 3, 1926 - Sept. 15, 2009

Bateson was the voice of the aging house elf who long served House of Black. 

Robert Knox - Marcus Belby

Aug. 21, 1989 - May 24, 2008

Knox, who had a small role as a Ravenclaw wizard in "Half Blood Prince", died at 18 years old after reportedly being stabbed outside of a London bar while coming to the aid of his younger brother during a fight.  

Richard Griffiths - Vernon Dursley

July 31, 1947 - March 28, 2013

Griffiths, who portrayed the cruel uncle of Harry Potter, reportedly died at the age of 65 after complications following heart surgery.  

John Hurt - Garrick Ollivander

Jan. 22, 1940 - Jan. 25, 2017

An Academy Award nominee for Best Actor in 1981 for "The Elephant Man," Hurt was known in the Potter series as a renowned wandmaker who owned Ollivanders in Diagon Alley. 

Verne Troyer - Griphook

Jan. 1, 1969 - April 21, 2018

Troyer, who also starred as Mini Me in "Austin Powers," originally played the goblin who worked at Gringotts Wizarding Bank. He was replaced by Warwick Davis. Troyer's died in 2018, with his death later ruled a suicide

Leslie Phillips - The Sorting Hat

April 20, 1924 - Nov. 7, 2022

The British actor voiced the Sorting Hat, a magical hat that sorted new Hogwarts students into the school's four houses. 

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