'Harry Potter' actor Richard Griffiths dies at 65
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.
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.
Griffiths is survived by his wife, Heather Gibson.