‘The Great Gambon’: Tributes flood in for ‘funny, charming and lovely’ acting legend

Tributes from the world of showbiz have flooded in for Sir Michael Gambon following his death aged 82.

Best known for playing the role of Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies, the Irish-born star was a veteran of stage and screen.

A number of his Harry Potter co-stars have paid tribute online, including Rupert Grint, who portrayed the titular character’s best friend, Ron Weasley.

Uploading a picture of Sir Michael on Instagram as his character in the wizarding film franchise, his accompanying caption read: “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.”

He signed off by writing: “Sending all my love to his family, Rupert.”

James Phelps, who played Fred Weasley, took to social media platform X formerly known as Twitter, to share his own tribute.

“Very sorry to hear about the passing of Michael Gambon. He was, on and off the camera, a legend.,” he penned.

He then went on to share a memory of his time filming with Sir Michael, who he hailed as “always very funny and very welcoming to share any knowledge he had”.

Phelps recalled one ocassion while working on the sixth Harry Potter film in which Sir Michael offered to help him with another gig.,

“One day we were shooing Dumbledore's final clock tower scene, obviously quite an intense scene. In between set ups Michael asked what I was up to that weekend. As it happened my brother and I were reading Peter and the Wolf with the Manchester Halle Orchestra,” he explained.

“'Do you have the script with you? He asked, I did, 'I've done that, let's go through it and if you like I can give you some notes'”

Phelps went on to describe this generous act as one of his “highlights” of working on the Harry Potter films.

Dame Eileen Atkins, a longstanding friend of Sir Michael, toldThe World at One he was “a great actor, but he always pretended he didn’t take it very seriously” and that he had amazing stage presence.

“He just had to walk on stage and he commanded the whole audience immediately,” she said.

“There was something very sweet about him, this huge man who could look very frightening - but there was something incredibly sweet inside Michael.”

Joning the chorus was former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson.

Sir Michael had appeared on the show a number of times and even had a corner of the BBC motoring show’s race track named after him.

Clarkson penned: “I’m so sad to hear that Michael Gambon has died. He was hugely amusing, and such a tremendous guest, we even named a corner after him.”

British actor Peter Egan added: “Deeply sad to see this. One of the funniest men on the planet and a great actor. I’ll miss him”.

Writer and comedian David Baddiel went on to praise his stage presence, saying: “First time I ever went to see any Theatre with a capital T it was Michael Gambon in Brecht’s Life Of Galileo at The National in 1980. It’s still the best stage acting I’ve ever seen. RIP.”

Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins was also full of kind words for the man she called “the loveliest of legends”.

Taking to Instagram, she shared a photo of them together which was taken while they were working on last year’s Doctor Who Christmas special.

“My dear Kazran!,” she penned in the accompanying caption followed by a broken heart emoji.

“My first acting role was opposite Sir Michael Gambon in the Doctor Who Christmas Special. He couldn’t have been kinder, calmer and more supportive. Today we have lost the loveliest of legends “