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article imageActor Richard Griffiths has died

By Tim Sandle     Mar 29, 2013 in Entertainment
Richard Griffiths, the actor who starred in the Harry Potter series as well as the celebrated Withnail and I, has died following complications after heart surgery. He was 65 years old.
Richard Griffiths, the celebrated English actor, died on March 28th. News of this death was announced today. According to Sky News, Griffiths died of complications following heart surgery at the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire.
Griffiths was born in 1947 ( Thornaby-on-Tees, North Riding of Yorkshire, England). He entered into acting at an early age, appearing on BBC radio. He then moved into a number of theater productions and television dramas (mostly for the BBC). In the late 1980s more movie roles began to come his way and his global profile rose.
As well as the successful Harry Potter movies, Griffiths was also known for his roles in Alan Bennett's 'The History Boys' (both stage and screen), as the iconic Uncle Monty in 'Withnail & I', and as a television detective in the series 'Pie In The Sky'. In addition, he featured in Martin Scorsese's 'Hugo' and Tim Burton's 'Sleepy Hollow'.
The actor had recently been appearing in Neil Simon's 'The Sunshine Boys' with Danny DeVito in the West End and had been due to reprise his role in the production in Los Angeles in September.
Griffiths was a celebrated actor, as the BBC profile recounts. He received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actor and a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, all for his role in the play The History Boys. Griffiths was awarded the OBE for services to drama in the New Year's Honors 2008.
Quoted by the Guardian, Daniel Radcliffe, who starred alongside Griffiths in the Harry Potter films and in the stage play Equus, said: "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 humour made it a joy. In fact, any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence. I am proud to say I knew him."
Sir Nicholas Hytner, director of the National Theatre, is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: "Richard Griffiths wasn't only one of the most loved and recognisable British actors - he was also one of the very greatest. His performance in The History Boys was quite overwhelming: a masterpiece of wit, delicacy, mischief and desolation, often simultaneously. But that was just one small part of a career that spanned Shakespeare, cutting-edge new plays and major work in film and television."
Richard Griffiths is certain to be remembered as one of the best actors of his generation.
More about Richard Griffiths, Harry potter, withnail and i, Daniel Radcliffe, pie in the sky
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