Richard Griffiths who is probably best known for his role as Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter movies has died at the age of 65.
Born in Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire he left school in his mid-teens and went on to study drama, later he would join the Royal Shakespeare Company. The early part of his career was spent with working on BBC Radio at the same time doing some acting work with local theatres, a major break came for him in 1975 when he secured a role in 'It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet' where he played the role of Sam.
When the 1980s arrived so too did leading roles, such as Henry Jay in a TV production called 'Birds of Prey', by the mid 80s he was playing supporting roles in a number of major films; including 'The French Lieutenants Women', 'Chariots of Fire' and on the stage, in the play of Gandhi's life.
Richard was an extremely versatile actor going from contemporary thrillers such as 'Gorky Park' to the often zany world of 'Naked Gun Two and a Half.' In a career that saw him move from stage to film like second nature he amassed a number of awards including an OBE, The Laurence Olivier Award, The Tony Award and many many more. But more than anything he will be remembered for his part in the film versions of J K Rowling's Harry Potter books, playing the Cruel Uncle Vernon Dursley alongside Daniel Radcliffe, who he would later team up again with in the stage production of Peter Shaffer’s Equus.
There is little doubt that the acting world has lost one of its true Shakespearians, this son of a steelworker having finished an acting role alongside Danny DeVito in Neil Simon’s Play the Sunshine Boys in April of 2012; the final curtain coming to rest on the 28th of March 2013 after complications during heart surgery.
Gone but not forgotten – Richard Griffiths 31 July 1947 to 28 March 2013.