Michael Gambon

Last updated on the 26 March 2024 by Evandrus

Michael Gambon

Mini Biography

Born:19 October 1940, Dublin, Ireland. 

Michael Gambon’s early life was marked by challenges and loss. His father, Edward Gambon, was an engineer during World War II, and his mother, Mary Hoare, was a seamstress. The family moved to Mornington Crescent in London when Gambon was six years old, and his father arranged for him to become a British citizen.

Gambon attended St Aloysius Boys’ School in Somers Town and served at the altar as a young boy. His interest in acting sparked while watching his father perform in amateur productions. After graduating from school, he worked various odd jobs while pursuing his acting aspirations.

In 1962, Gambon enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), under the tutelage of renowned actors such as Sir Laurence Olivier. RADA proved to be a pivotal moment in his career, laying the foundation for his remarkable journey in the world of performance.

After graduating from RADA, Gambon joined the Royal National Theatre (RNT) in 1967, where he began a long and fruitful association with the esteemed institution. His performances in Shakespearean plays like Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear earned him critical acclaim and cemented his reputation as a leading stage actor.

Michael Gambon’s transition to film and television came in the early 1980s, and he quickly established himself as a formidable force in the medium. He starred in notable films such as The Singing Detective (1986), Les Misérables (1998), and the Harry Potter film series, where he played the iconic role of Albus Dumbledore, replacing the late Richard Harris.

His television appearances were equally impressive, including the acclaimed miniseries Maigret (1992) and The Singing Detective (1986), which earned him a BAFTA Television Award. Gambon’s versatility and ability to transform into diverse characters made him a sought-after performer.

Throughout his illustrious career, Gambon received numerous accolades, including three Olivier Awards, four BAFTA TV Awards, and a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 1998 for his contributions to drama.

Beyond his professional achievements, Gambon was known for his personal warmth and his love of cars. He was a passionate driver and appeared on the BBC’s Top Gear in 2002.

Michael Gambon passed away on September 28, 2023, leaving behind a legacy of captivating performances and an enduring impact on the world of theatre, film, and television. His name will forever be etched in the annals of the entertainment industry, a testament to his dedication, talent, and enduring presence.


BAFTA award
WINNER|Television: Actor for The Singing Detective (1987) | Television:  Actor for Wives And Daughters (2000) |Television: Actor for Longitude (2001) |Television: Actor for Perfect Strangers (2002)


Suggested viewing


Singing Detective (1987)
Singing Detective poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.6

“Singing Detective” is a groundbreaking television series that follows Philip Marlow, a writer suffering from severe psoriasis. As he lies in a hospital bed, his hallucinations blend with reality, leading him to revisit his traumatic childhood and explore the interconnectedness of his past, present, and imagination. The show delves into themes of memory, identity, and the power of storytelling.

Top cast: Michael Gambon, Patrick Malahide, Joanne Whalley, David Ryall, Janet Suzman, Alison Steadman, Gerard Horan, Lyndon Davies.

Perfect Strangers (2002)

Perfect Strangers poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 8.0

The Symon family gathers for a three-day reunion at Claridge’s Hotel, bringing together a large and disparate group of relatives. Daniel, a mild-mannered surveyor, is a distant member of the family, but he is drawn into the intricate web of relationships and secrets that have shaped their lives. As old tensions resurface and new ones emerge, Daniel uncovers buried truths about his own family history, questioning his place in the world and the legacy he will inherit.

Top cast: Michael Gambon, Lindsay Duncan, Matthew Macfadyen, Claire Skinner, Toby Stephens, Jill Baker, Timothy Spall, Anton Lesser, Michael Culkin.


Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.6

As Harry embarks on his sixth year at Hogwarts, he deepens his understanding of Lord Voldemort’s dark past through Dumbledore’s lessons and the insights gleaned from an anonymous potions textbook belonging to the mysterious Half-Blood Prince. Amidst brewing tensions between the wizarding world and the encroaching forces of darkness, Harry confronts his own budding feelings for Ginny Weasley while dealing with the complexities of growing up and the challenges of fulfilling his destiny.

Top cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Jim Broadbent, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane.

Fortitude (2015)

Fortitude poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.3

“Fortitude” is a television series set in a remote Arctic town. As a brutal murder shakes the community, the residents must face their secrets and fears. With scientific anomalies, political intrigue, and psychological tension, the story explores the darkness that lies within the human psyche and the struggle for survival.

Top cast: Richard Dormer, Sienna Guillory, Michael Gambon, Mia Nielsen-Jexen, Sofie Gråbøl, Luke Treadaway, Darren Boyd, Björn Hlynur Haraldsson, Alexandra Moen, Verónica Echegui.

Longitude (2000)


Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.8

“Longitude” is a historical drama based on the true story of John Harrison. Set in the 18th century, it follows Harrison’s relentless pursuit to solve the elusive problem of determining longitude at sea. Battling skepticism and adversity, his revolutionary timekeeping invention forever changes the course of navigation and maritime history.

Top cast: Michael Gambon, Jeremy Irons, Ian Hart, Andrew Scott, Bill Nighy, Gemma Jones, John Wood, Anna Chancellor, Brian Cox.

Dad’s Army (2016)

Dad's army poster

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 5.4

“Dad’s Army” is a comedy set during World War II. When a journalist uncovers a German spy in the fictional British town of Walmington-on-Sea, the eccentric Home Guard platoon steps up to save the day. With hilarious mishaps and heartfelt camaraderie, they prove that courage comes in all shapes and sizes.

Top cast: Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Gambon, Toby Jones, Mark Gatiss, Sarah Lancashire, Tom Courtenay, Blake Harrison, Alison Steadman.

Churchill’s Secret (2016)

Churchill's Secret

Bftv 8.0 / IMDb 6.8

“Churchill’s Secret” is a drama based on true events. Set in 1953, it unveils the hidden health crisis of Winston Churchill, Britain’s iconic Prime Minister. As his closest allies strive to protect his secret, tensions rise, and the nation faces uncertainty while Churchill battles to preserve his legacy and leadership.

Top cast: Michael Gambon, Lindsay Duncan, Romola Garai, Matthew Macfadyen, Tara Fitzgerald, Rachael Stirling, Bill Paterson, Daisy Lewis, Alex Jennings.

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

Bftv 8.5 / IMDb 7.5

“The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover” is a provocative and darkly comedic tale. Set in a lavish restaurant, the story revolves around a tyrannical gangster, his unfaithful wife, her passionate affair with a bookish diner, and the consequences that unfold. It explores themes of power, desire, and poetic justice with shocking and surreal twists.

Top cast: Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Alan Howard, Tim Roth, Ciarán Hinds, Liz Smith, Gary Olsen, Ewan Stewart.

Gosford Park (2002)

Gosford Park poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 7.2

“Gosford Park” is a murder mystery set in 1930s England. As an extravagant weekend gathering takes place at the opulent Gosford Park estate, tensions simmer beneath the surface. When a murder occurs, the intertwining lives of the aristocrats and servants become entangled in a web of secrets, lies, and unexpected revelations.

Top cast: Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Kristin Scott Thomas, Camilla Rutherford, Charles Dance, Geraldine Somerville, Tom Hollander, Natasha Wightman, Jeremy Northam.

Wives and Daughters (1999)

Wives and Daughters poster

Bftv 9.0 / IMDb 8.1

In the small town of Hollingford, Molly Gibson, a young girl living with her widowed father, Dr. Gibson, navigates the complexities of love, friendship, and family amidst the social hierarchies of Victorian England. As she forms deep connections with the Hamley family, Molly discovers their hidden secrets and learns valuable lessons about self-worth and the power of true connection.

Top cast: Justine Waddell, Francesca Annis, Bill Paterson, Keeley Hawes, Deborah Findlay, Barbara Flynn, Emily Mackenzie, Iain Glen, Tom Hollander, Anthony Howell, Michael Gambon, Ian Carmichael, Rosamund Pike.


Full filmography (@Wikipedia)


Michael Gambon Gallery


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments