Oct. 19th, 1940
Cabra, Dublin, Ireland
Michael Gambon's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Sir Michael John Gambon CBE (born October 19, 1940) is an Irish-born English actor who has worked in theatre, television and film. Gambon has played Philip Marlow in the BBC television serial The Singing Detective, Jules Maigret in the 1990s ITV serial Maigret, and Professor Albus Dumbledore in the remaining six Harry Potter films after the death of actor 'Richard Harris'.
Born in Cabra, Dublin, during World War II. His father, Edward Gambon, was an engineer, and his mother, Mary (née Hoare), was a seamstress. His father decided to seek work in the rebuilding of London, and so the family moved to Mornington Crescent in North London, when Gambon was five. His father had him made a British citizen, a decision that would later allow Gambon to receive a substantive, rather than honorary, knighthood and CBE.
Brought up as a strict Roman Catholic, he attended St Aloysius Boys' School in Somers Town and served at the altar. He then moved to St Aloysius' College in Hornsey Lane, Highgate, London, whose former pupils include Peter Sellers and Joe Cole. He later attended a school in Kent, before leaving with no qualifications at fifteen. He then gained an apprenticeship with Vickers Armstrong as a toolmaker. By the time he was 21, he was a fully qualified engineer. He kept the job for a further year, acquiring a fascination and passion for collecting antique guns, clocks, watches, and classic cars.
In 2004, he began playing Albus Dumbledore, Hogwarts's headmaster in the third installment of J. K. Rowling's franchise, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, taking over the role after the death of 'Richard Harris'. (Harris had also played Maigret on television four years before Gambon took that role.) Gambon reprised the role of Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which was released in November 2005 in the United Kingdom and the United States. He returned to the role again in the fifth film, 2007's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and the sixth film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He appeared in the seventh film; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts I and II, released in two parts in 2010 and 2011. Gambon told an interviewer that, when playing Dumbledore, he does not "have to play anyone really. I just stick on a beard and play me, so it's no great feat. I never ease into a role—every part I play is just a variant of my own personality. I'm not really a character actor at all...'"
Gambon appeared alongside 'Katherine Jenkins' in the 2010 Christmas Special of Doctor Who, "A Christmas Carol".
In 2012 he played a role in Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut with Quartet, based on the same-titled play by Ronald Harwood and starring 'Maggie Smith'. He had previously worked with Hoffman in the HBO horse-racing drama Luck, which was canceled in March 2012 after three horses died on set.
In 2015, Gambon played Henry Tyson, a character in the Sky Atlantic TV Series Fortitude.
Gambon married Anne Miller when he was 22, but has always been secretive about his personal life, responding to one interviewer's question about her: "What wife?" The couple lived near Gravesend, Kent, where she has a workshop. They have one son, Fergus, a ceramics expert on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow. In the New Year Honours 1998 Gambon was appointed a Knight Bachelor for "services to drama", and on Friday July 17, 1998 was invested by 'Prince Charles'.
While filming Gosford Park, Gambon brought Philippa Hart on to the set and introduced her to co-stars as his girlfriend. When the affair was revealed in 2002, he moved out of the marital home and bought a bachelor pad. Hart, who worked with Gambon on the film, Sylvia in 2003, in late 2006 moved into a £800,000 terraced home in Shepherds Bush, west London. In February 2007, it was revealed that Hart was pregnant with Gambon's child, and gave birth to son, Tom, in May 2007. On June 22, 2009 she gave birth to her second child, a boy named Will, who is Gambon's third child.
- He was awarded the 'Laurence Olivier' (qv) Theatre Award in 1986 (1985 season) for Best Comedy Performance for "A Chorus of Disapproval".
- In 2007 he was nominated for Best Actor at the ESB/Irish Times Theatre awards for his role in the stage adaptation of Samuel Becketts Eh Joe.
- His first child, Fergus, was born to him and his wife in 1964.
- In 2002, was named the successor to the late 'Richard Harris (I)' (qv) as Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series.
- He was awarded the 1995 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance in Volpone.
- He was awarded the 1990 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre Award) for Best Actor for his performance in Man of the Moment.
- Auditioned for the role of James Bond after 'George Lazenby' (qv) left the series, but was turned down because they didn't want to hire another unknown.
- After going round the final corner of the "Top Gear" (BBC TV, Season 1, episode 8; 2002) test track on two wheels during their Star In A Reasonably Priced Car segment, the corner was named after him.