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‘Harry Potter’ Actor Richard Griffiths Dead at 65

Richard Griffiths
Ian Gavan, Getty Images

British actor Richard Griffiths, best known for his role as the magic-hating Uncle Vernon in the ‘Harry Potter’ series, died on Thursday, March 28 from complications following heart surgery. He was 65.

Griffiths was best known for his love of the stage, his disdain of mobile phones (he once ordered a phone-using man to leave a theatre mid-play) and the 1987 cult film ‘Withnail and I,’ in which he played the much more beloved Uncle Monty.

American audiences may also recognize him from his work in ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ ‘Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides’ and ‘Hugo.’

Said co-star Daniel Radcliffe (who performed alongside Griffiths in both the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise and in the stage play ‘Equus’), “Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career … any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence. I am proud to say I knew him.”

In 2008, his work in drama earned him an OBE (The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth.

“Richard Griffiths wasn’t only one of the most loved and recognizable British actors – he was also one of the very greatest,” remarked Nicholas Hytner, director of Britain’s National Theatre, hinting that Griffith’s unexpected death would destroy his “army of friends.”

Griffiths is survived by his wife, Heather.

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