Richard Griffiths, the Tony Award-winning British actor best known for playing Harry Potter’s uncle in the wildly successful fantasy series, has died at age 65. Here’s what you should know about him.
1. He played Harry Potter’s Uncle
Griffiths had a long and distinguished acting career, but he is best known to the young generation as Vernon Dursley, the boy wizard’s angry uncle in the Harry Potter movies.
2. He’s Also Known for Playing Another Uncle
Griffiths played the perverted Uncle Monty, in the 1980s Monty Python cult classic Withnail and I.
3. He Was an Esteemed Stage Actor
Griffiths won a Tony Award in New York and an Olivier Award in London for his role as teacher Hector in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys.
4. He Died After Having Surgery
Griffiths was a large man who filled the stage and screen with his presence. He died on Thursday, March 28, of complications from heart surgery.
5. He is survived by a wife, Heather Gibson.
6. He Was in Many High-Profile Movies
Griffiths’ filmography includes Chariots of Fire, Gandhi, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, Goldeneye, and The Naked Gun 2 1/2.
7. His Parents Were Deaf and Mute
8. He Had no Tolerance for Ringing Cell Phones
Griffiths was known for a particular on-stage antic that saw stopping his performance whenever an audience member’s cell phone would ring — ordering the phone’s owner to leave the building.
9. He Was on TV, Too
Griffiths also performed in television roles, known for playing a detective chef Harry Crabbe in the English series Pie in the Sky.
10. He Spent a Decade with the Royal Shakespeare Company