'Harry Potter' actor Richard Griffiths dies at 65 - Fox 2 News Headlines

'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>>

  • Record stores survive and thrive in Brooklyn

    Record stores survive and thrive in Brooklyn

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:59 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:59:51 GMT
    When you hear about a place that still sells records, located in a hip neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, you enter that store with certain expectations. One of them being: you hope the guy behind the counter talks about music the way Cory Fierman does."I think it's just like the most important thing to you," he says. "I don't know how to describe it. It's the most important thing to me. It's like another language."Cory manages Greenpoint's Academy Records Annex, where they want you ...
    When you hear about a place that still sells records, located in a hip neighborhood in the borough of Brooklyn, you enter that store with certain expectations. One of them being: you hope the guy behind the counter talks about music the way Cory Fierman does."I think it's just like the most important thing to you," he says. "I don't know how to describe it. It's the most important thing to me. It's like another language."Cory manages Greenpoint's Academy Records Annex, where they want you ...
  • Check out Dave Chappelle's new buff look

    Check out Dave Chappelle's new buff look

    Dave Chappelle has been out of the spotlight for a while, but he was recently spotted sporting a brand new look, ABC News reports.
    Dave Chappelle has been out of the spotlight for a while, but he was recently spotted sporting a brand new look, ABC News reports.
  • Bridget Moynahan stars in 'Small Time'

    Bridget Moynahan stars in 'Small Time'

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:31 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:31:21 GMT
    The mind behind "24" brings us "Small Time," an intimate family drama that unites some of TV's most recognizable faces: "Law Order" alum Chris Meloni, Dean Norris (a.k.a. Hank Schrader from "Breaking Bad"), and "Blue Bloods" actress Bridget Moynahan. "I read 'Small Time' and it's just one of those scripts that just reads perfectly," she said.
    The mind behind "24" brings us "Small Time," an intimate family drama that unites some of TV's most recognizable faces: "Law Order" alum Chris Meloni, Dean Norris (a.k.a. Hank Schrader from "Breaking Bad"), and "Blue Bloods" actress Bridget Moynahan. "I read 'Small Time' and it's just one of those scripts that just reads perfectly," she said.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

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