Richard Griffiths dies; 'Harry Potter's' Uncle Vernon was 65
Griffiths' agent, Simon Beresford, said Friday (March 29) that Griffiths died of complications following heart surgery at University Hospital in Coventry, central England. Beresford calls Griffiths "a remarkable man and one of our greatest and best-loved actors."
Griffiths was known in Britain as an accomplished stage actor as well. His biggest theatrical role was as teacher Hector in Alan Bennett's "The History Boys." He took the play to Broadway in New York and won a Tony Award for the role, which he reprised on film. He also appeared with Radcliffe in "Equus" in 2008.
"Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe tells the AP, "I was proud to say I knew him. 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," Radcliffe continues. "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. In fact, any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence."
Griffiths' last major role was in a 2012 revival of "The Sunshine Boys" opposite Danny DeVito at the Savoy Theatre in London. He is survived by his wife, Heather Gibson.