'Harry Potter' actor Richard Griffiths dies at 65 - New York News

'Harry Potter' actor Richard Griffiths dies at 65

Posted: Updated:

LONDON (AP) -- Richard Griffiths, the versatile British actor who played the boy wizard's unsympathetic Uncle Vernon in the "Harry Potter" movies, has died. He was 65.

Agent Simon Beresford announced Friday that Griffiths died a day earlier of complications following heart surgery at University Hospital in Coventry, central England.

He paid tribute to Griffiths as "a remarkable man and one of our greatest and best-loved actors."

Griffiths appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows, but will be most widely remembered as a pair of contrasting uncles -- the hero's grudging Muggle guardian in the "Harry Potter" series, and flamboyant Uncle Monty in 1980s cult classic "Withnail and I."

"I was proud to say I knew him," said "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe.

A large man and a huge stage presence, Griffiths was one of Britain's leading theater actors, creating roles including the charismatic teacher Hector at the emotional heart of Alan Bennett's "The History Boys" -- a part he took to Broadway, winning a Tony Award, and repeated for the film adaptation.

National Theatre artistic director Nicholas Hytner, who directed "The History Boys," called Griffiths' performance in that play "a masterpiece of wit, delicacy, mischief and desolation, often simultaneously."

Griffiths also played poet W.H. Auden in Bennett's "The Habit of Art," a hugely persuasive performance despite the lack of physical resemblance between the two men.

Known for his sense of humor, large store of theatrical anecdotes and occasional bursts of temper, Griffiths was renowned for shaming audience members whose cell phones rang during plays by stopping the performance and ordering the offender to leave.

Griffiths' last major stage role was in a West End production of Neil Simon's comedy "The Sunshine Boys" last year opposite Danny DeVito.

In 2007 he appeared in a London production of "Equus" alongside the then 17-year-old Radcliffe.

"Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career," Radcliffe said Friday.

"In August 2000, before official production had even begun on Potter, we filmed a shot outside the Dursleys', which was my first ever shot as Harry. I was nervous and he made me feel at ease.

"Seven years later, we embarked on `Equus' together. It was my first time doing a play but, terrified as I was, his encouragement, tutelage and humor made it a joy.

"In fact, any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence."

Griffiths is survived by his wife, Heather Gibson.

  • EntertainmentMore>>

  • Sarah Palin launches online channel

    Sarah Palin launches online channel

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-07-28 15:12:24 GMT
    Sarah Palin has started her own subscription-based online network. The Sarah Palin Channel, which went live on Sunday, bills itself as a "direct connection" between the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate and her supporters, with "no need to please the powers-that-be," Palin says in a video mission statement on her channel's home page.
    Sarah Palin has started her own subscription-based online network. The Sarah Palin Channel, which went live on Sunday, bills itself as a "direct connection" between the former Alaska governor and GOP vice presidential candidate and her supporters, with "no need to please the powers-that-be," Palin says in a video mission statement on her channel's home page.
  • Sneak Peak: The Simpsons meet Family Guy

    Sneak Peak: The Simpsons meet Family Guy

    Monday, July 28 2014 1:01 AM EDT2014-07-28 05:01:56 GMT
    Did you ever wonder what would happen if Homer Simpson met Peter Griffin from Family Guy? You will find out soon. A sneak peak of the upcoming cross-over episode can be found online.
    Did you ever wonder what would happen if Homer Simpson met Peter Griffin from Family Guy? You will find out soon. A sneak peak of the upcoming cross-over episode can be found online.
  • New photos of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

    New photos of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

    Sunday, July 27 2014 2:39 PM EDT2014-07-27 18:39:42 GMT
    All the wondering for superhero fanatics is finally over. The new Wonder Woman has finally been revealed in new photos. The latest incarnation of Wonder Woman is played by actress Gal Gadot. 
    All the wondering for superhero fanatics is finally over. The new Wonder Woman has finally been revealed in new photos. The latest incarnation of Wonder Woman is played by actress Gal Gadot. 
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • 2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    2 U.S. marshals, 1 NYPD detective wounded; fugitive killed in Manhattan

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:33 PM EDT2014-07-28 20:33:33 GMT
    Two deputy U.S. marshals, an NYPD detective, and a sexual assault suspect have been shot in a shootout in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened near West 4th Street and Jones Street. Speaking at a news conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the marshals and cop were taken to a local hospital with apparently non-life threatening injuries.
    Two deputy U.S. marshals, an NYPD detective, and a sexual assault suspect have been shot in a shootout in the West Village in Manhattan, officials said. The shootout happened near West 4th Street and Jones Street. Speaking at a news conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the marshals and cop were taken to a local hospital with apparently non-life threatening injuries.
  • Massive brawl at NJ wedding

    Massive brawl at NJ wedding

    Monday, July 28 2014 2:24 PM EDT2014-07-28 18:24:34 GMT
    As many as 300 people became involved in a massive brawl at a New Jersey wedding hall that ended with two arrests on Sunday night.  Middletown police say that the fight broke out at about 10:30 p.m. at the Jacques Reception Hall on Palmer Ave. in Middletown.
    As many as 300 people became involved in a massive brawl at a New Jersey wedding hall that ended with two arrests on Sunday night.  Middletown police say that the fight broke out at about 10:30 p.m. at the Jacques Reception Hall on Palmer Ave. in Middletown.
  • Accused Long Island cop killer found guilty

    Accused Long Island cop killer found guilty

    Monday, July 28 2014 12:49 PM EDT2014-07-28 16:49:08 GMT
    An ex-convict suspected of gunning down a Nassau County police officer and then fatally shooting a carjacking victim was found guilty on all counts in the murders on Monday. Darrell Fuller, 33, shot and killed Police Officer Arthur Lopez in October 2012 who suspected he had been involved in a hit-and-run car accident. Authorities said Fuller then fled that shooting and killed the second victim, Raymond Facey of Queens, while stealing his vehicle.
    An ex-convict suspected of gunning down a Nassau County police officer and then fatally shooting a carjacking victim was found guilty on all counts in the murders on Monday. Darrell Fuller, 34, shot and killed Police Officer Arthur Lopez in October 2012 who suspected he had been involved in a hit-and-run car accident. Authorities said Fuller then fled that shooting and killed the second victim, Raymond Facey of Queens, while stealing his vehicle.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices