Who is Michael Gambon?
Irish-British actor Sir Michael John Gambon was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 19 October 1940, making Libra his zodiac sign. He has 172 acting credits, but is perhaps still known best for playing Professor Albus Dumbledore in the 2009 action family adventure movie “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, which co-starred Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe, and was directed by David Yates. It follows Harry Potter who’s found a strange book previously owned by mysterious Half-Blood Prince, and the movie won nine of its 48 award nominations, including an Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Cinematography.
Michael’s portrayed Albus in five other Harry Potter movies, including the 2007 “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, the 2010 “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” and the 2011 “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”.
Education and early life
Michael was raised in Dublin by his father Edward Gambo,n who served in World War II as an engineering operative, and mother Mary (nee Hoare) who was a seamstress.
Michael was six when he moved with his family to London, England, as his father found work in rebuilding the city; Edward then arranged for his son to receive British citizenship, which later made it possible for him to accept a substantive knighthood.
Michael was raised Roman Catholic and studied at St Aloysius Boys’ School, prior to progressing to St Aloysius’ College; he eventually transferred to Crayford Secondary School, but from which he dropped out aged 15. He then began learning toolmaking at the now-defunct British engineering conglomerate Vickers-Armstrong Limited, and became a qualified engineering technician aged 21.
Michael eventually enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Roles in movies
Michael’s debut film role was playing Senator, Soldier and Cypriot in the 1965 drama “Othello”, and had only one role in the remainder of the ‘60s, portraying Watchman in the 1967 romantic comedy “Much Ado About Nothing”.
Some of his following roles were in the 1973 crime mystery horror “Nothing But the Night”, the 1974 mystery horror “The Beast Must Die”, and the 1975 thriller “The Secret Agent”.
He gained recognition in 1985, when cast to play George Fairbairn in the romantic comedy “Turtle Diary”, which starred Ben Kingsley and Glenda Jackson, and was directed by John Irvin. It follows a man and a woman as they’re planning to steal two sea turtles from the London Zoo and release them into the ocean. Some of Michael’s roles in the remainder of the decade were in the 1985 comedy “Absurd Person Singular”, the 1988 thriller “Paris by Night”, and the 1989 romantic comedy “The Rachel Papers”.
In 1992, he portrayed Lieutenant General Leland Zevo, one of the main characters in the popular adventure comedy “Toys”, which also starred Robin Williams and Joan Cusack, and was written and directed by Barry Levinson. It follows Leland Zevo who’s inherited a toymaking company, and has begun making war toys; the film was nominated for 12 awards, including two Oscars for Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction – Set Direction. Some of Michael’s following roles were in the 1994 mystery comedy “Clean State”, the 1995 drama “Nothing Personal”, and the 1999 biographical thriller “The Insider”.
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In 2001, he starred as William McCordle in the mystery comedy “Gosford Park”, which also starred Ryan Phillippe and Maggie Smith, and was directed by Robert Altman. Set in the 1930s, the movie follows a group of wealthy people who’ve gathered for a relaxing weekend at a hunting resort, while one of them has now been murdered; it won 36 of the 110 awards for which it was nominated, including an Oscar win for Best Writing. Some of Michael’s notable performances in the remainder of the 2000s were in the 2002 comedy “Ali G Indahouse”, the 2006 fantasy horror “The Omen”, and the 2009 animated adventure comedy “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (voice role).
In 2014, he voiced Uncle Pastuzo in the popular adventure family comedy “Paddington”, which starred Sally Hawkins and Hugh Bonneville, and was directed by Paul King. The movie follows a Peruvian bear who’s travelled to London and has been offered a temporary home by the Brown family; it won three of its 10 award nominations.
Some of Michael’s most recent film roles have been in the 2018 action adventure comedy “Johnny English Strikes Again”, and in 2019 the biographical musical “Judy” and the horror thriller “Cordelia”.
Roles in TV series
Michael’s debut TV series role was playing Pete Lucas in the 1967 episode “Appointment in Wyvern” of the crime drama “Softly Softly”, and from 1968 through 1970, he starred as Gavin Ker in all 26 episodes of the adventure “The Borderers”, which also starred Iain Cuthbertson and Edith MacArthur, and was created by Bill Craig; it follows a family living on the frontier between England and Scotland in the 16th century.
Michael appeared in an episode or two of many series in the ‘70s, including the crime horror “The Man Outside”, the drama “Kate”, and the crime drama “Softly Softly: Task Force”.
He had only a couple of TV series roles in the ‘80s, and what marked the decade for him was perhaps starring as Philip Marlow in the 1986 mystery musical mini-series “The Singing Detective”, which also starred Patrick Malahide and Joanne Whalley, and follows a mystery author who’s suffering from a debilitating disease; the mini-series won six of its 14 award nominations.
The first half of the ‘90s saw Michael star in the family adventure mini-series “The Storyteller: Greek Myths” and the crime mystery “Maigret”, then in 1999, he starred as Squire Hamley in all four episodes of the drama mini-series “Wives and Daughters”; it also starred Justine Waddell and Francesca Annis, and follows the life of a country doctor’s daughter – the mini-series won nine of its 12 award nominations.
Michael appeared in only a couple of series in the 2000s, including the comedy “Perfect Strangers”, the romantic fantasy mini-series “Angels in America”, and the drama “Cranford”.
Most recently, from 2015 through 2018, he played Henry Tyson in 10 episodes of the popular mystery horror “Fortitude”, which starred Bjorn Hlynur Haraldsson and Richard Dormer, and was created by Simon Donald. It follows the people living in Fortitude, a city on the edge of the Arctic Circle, and the series won four of its 13 award nominations.
Michael received special thanks for the 2005 documentary movie “This Is An Adventure”.
He sang various songs in five episodes of the 1986 musical mystery series “The Singing Detective”, and the song “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” in the 2016 movie “Churchill’s Secret”.
Some of his most recent talk-show appearances have been in “Theatre Talk”, “Bad Robots” and “The One Show”.
Awards and accolades
Michael’s won 21 of his 44 award nominations – four BAFTAs for Best Actor: the first in 1987 for his performance in “The Singing Detective”, the second in 2000 for “Wives and Daughters” and the third in 2001 for “Longitude”, and his fourth in 2002, for “Perfect Strangers”.
He also won two Rome International Movie Awards for Best Supporting Actor and jointly Best Acting Ensemble in 2020, both for “The Last Witness”.
Michael was nominated for two Primetime Emmys in 2002 and 2010, for his performance in “Path to War” and “Emma”, respectively.
For his services to drama, he was knighted by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 1999.
Love life and wife
Michael’s amongst the most secretive of actors, as he prefers to keep the details of his private life to himself, but some are still known. He and British mathematician Anne Miller exchanged vows in 1962, when Michael was 22 years old; being as secretive as he is, when once asked by an interviewer about his wife, Michael responded ‘What wife?’ In 1964, Anne gave birth to their son Fergus Gambon, who’s today a ceramics expert.
In 2001, Michael brought to the set of the movie “Gosford Park” a woman 25 years his junior, Philippa Hart, and introduced her as his girlfriend; after it was made public in 2002 that he was having an affair, Michael moved out of his and his wife’s home. He and Philippa have since been living together; she gave birth to their first son Michael in May 2007 (some sources state in February) and their second son William followed in June 2009.
Michael’s still married to Anne Miller as of June 2023, but they’ve been separated for 20 years now; he’s today living with his long-term partner Philippa Hart, and they have two children together, while he also has a son with his wife.
Interesting facts and hobbies
Michael’s a licensed private pilot, and is a huge fan of cars; he’s appeared in several episodes of the British car show “Top Gear”. He once drove around the corner of a track on two wheels, and which has since been named ‘Gambon Corner’ in his honour.
Michael once auditioned for the role of James Bond.
He’s a collector of antique weapons.
Michael’s a huge fan of the late Irish actor Peter O’Toole, and some of his favorite movies include “Troy”, “Lawrence of Arabia” and “How to Steal a Million”.
He’s a philanthropist, and has worked with a number of British and Irish charity organizations, while he mostly enjoys helping war veterans and underprivileged children.
Height, eyes and wealth
Michael’s age is 82. He has brown eyes and grey hair, is 5ft 11ins (1.8m) tall, and weighs around 160lbs (72kgs).
Michael’s net worth’s been estimated at over $20 million, as of June 2023.