"Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love." - Albus Dumbledore
As we reported on SFFGazette.com earlier today, it's been confirmed Sir Michael Gambon has died in hospital aged 82. The actor's family announced his passing with a short statement from his widow, Lady Anne Gambon, and son, Fergus.
"We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon," it reads. "Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia."
We're sure many of you will know him best for playing Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise. Richard Harris played the character in the first two movies but was replaced by Gambon after he died in 2002.
His first appearance as the beloved J.K. Rowling creation came in 2004's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Gambon immediately made Dumbledore his own by making the powerful wizard a little less stoic and more playful. He'd continue playing the Professor right through until the franchise ended in 2011 with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2.
Jude Law would later take over the role, playing a younger version of Dumbledore in the ill-fated Fantastic Beasts franchise. Warner Bros. Discovery is rebooting the franchise as a Max TV series, though there's been no word on casting yet as it's still in the very early stages of development.
Gambon later admitted that he had never read the Harry Potter books before being cast and told a UK newspaper, joking: "I'd never seen any of the previous films, but working on the series was huge fun - and for lots of dosh."
There was much more to him than Dumbledore, though, and Gambon actually began his career more than 60 years ago and was one of the original members of the Royal National Theatre alongside Laurence Olivier.
Throughout his storied career, he starred in movies and TV shows like Layer Cake, The King's Speech, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Singing Detective, Path to War, and The Casual Vacancy. His final acting role was in 2019's Cordelia. He won a number of accolades including three Olivier Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four BAFTA Awards.
In 1999, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to drama and received the Irish Film & Television Academy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.
This is a huge loss, and our thoughts go out to his family at this time. Warner Bros. has also issued a statement which you can read below.