'Harry Potter' Actor Richard Griffiths Dies at 65

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Warner Bros.

Some sad news to report this morning: Richard Griffiths, who co-starred in the 'Harry Potter' films as Vernon Dursley, has died following heart surgery in London. He was 65.

Griffiths was an actor known for movies, television and the stage, winning a Tony - among other awards - for his performance as "Hector" in 'The History Boys'. He also portrayed the role in the 2006 film adaptation.

He and 'Harry Potter' co-star Daniel Radcliffe had developed a friendship over the years, and Radcliffe was among the first to comment on the actor's passing. Here's his statement:

 Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career. 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.

 

Griffiths also starred in such films as 'Withnail & I', 'Chariots of Fire', 'Sleepy Hollow', 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' and 'Hugo'. But it's perhaps for his role as Potter's crotchety guardian Vernon that he'll be remembered best by an entire generation.

He leaves behind a wife, Heather Gibson, to whom he was married since 1980.

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