Sir Michael Gambon is a legendary highly-respected Irish-British TV, film, and theatre actor, who is most popular for playing Albus Dumbledole in the “Harry Potter” movie franchise.
Age, Early Life, and Education Background
Michael ‘John’ Gambon was born in Dublin, Ireland, under the Libra zodiac sign on 19 October 1940, which makes him 81 years old as of late 2021. He was raised in a strict Roman Catholic family in Dublin by his mother, Mary (nee Hoare), who worked as a seamstress and her husband, Edward Gambon, who earned his living as an engineer.
When he was five years old, his family relocated to Mornington Crescent, North London, where his father had landed a job in the reconstruction of London – Michael was raised in an Irish settlers’ community, and his father helped him earn British citizenship – tis meant that he would later be eligible for an actual, not honorary knighthood, because of his father’s decision.
Sir Gambon went to St. Aloysius Boys School, located in Somers Town. He later attended Crayford Secondary School, Kent, and also studied at St. Aloysius College, in Highgate, London. He is believed to have dropped out of school when he was 15 years old to work as a toolmaker (apprentice) at Vickers-Armstrong, where he later qualified as a mechanical engineer.
As he was training as an apprentice toolmaker, he also attended the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London, and learned classical acting, later graduating with a theatrical degree.
Hobbies and Interesting Facts
During his early days, Gambon was a fast car fanatic, and his love of automobiles pushed him to participate in the BBC “Top Gear” program – he raced a Suzuki Liana, and drove impeccably.
As a child, Michael served at his church’s altar, as his family was very religious.
Michael is a qualified private pilot.
He has a corner of the “Top Gear” test track named after him (Gambon) to honour his expertise in driving race cars.
The retired actor today enjoys reading books as well as watching films and TV shows – his favorite entertainers are Richard Harris and Maggie Smith, and his favorite TV shows are “Fortitude” and “The Singing Detective
Career, Achievements, and Awards
Career Debut – Stage Appearances
Michael joined King Cross’ Unity Theatre at the age of 19, then a few years later wrote to Michael MacLiammoir, an Irish theatre impresario in charge of Gate Theatre in Dublin requesting to be taken on – he was hired shortly afterwards. He made his official stage debut in 1962 playing in Second Gentleman in “Othello’s” production performed in the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.
He later went to audition for Richard III opening soliloquy, and caught the attention of Laurence Olivier, who took him on (together with Frank Finlay and Derek Jacobi) to be part of his National Theatre Company which performed at London’s Old Vic – their first project was “Hamlet.” He worked for several years in Olivier’s company before he left for Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
Gambon rose to prominence in 1974, when he was cast by Alan Ayckbourn to play in “The Norman Conquests” at Greenwich. In 1980, he caught the public’s attention when he was cast in “The Life of Galileo,” written by Bertolt Brecht and directed by John Dexter. He subsequently featured in a number of other plays, including “King Lear,” “Volpone,” and “Mountain Language” before he appeared in 1995’s “Skylight.”
Happy birthday, Michael Gambon! Thank you for taking a character so dear to our hearts and bringing him to life flawlessly.
In the 2000s, he continued making stage appearances and was seen in 2004’s “Endgame,” “No Man’s Land” in 2008, and 2012’s “All That Fall.” In 2015, he announced that he was quitting stage work since it was becoming hard for him to memorize lines due to his advancing age.
Film, TV, and Radio Works
Michael made his film debut In 1965, in “Othello” by Laurence Olivier before he was featured in the BBC series “The Borderers” between 1968-1970 playing Gavin Ker. He caught the attention of the public in 1986, when he was cast in “The Singing Detective” by Dennis Potter. 1992 saw him playing Barry in the film “Toys,” before he starred in the film “The Gambler” of 1997 as Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Before the end of the 20th century, he was seen in several other productions, such as the 1998 films “Dancing at Lughnasa” and “Plunkett & Macleane,”, and the 1999 series entitled “Wives and Daughters.”
Becoming more popular, Michael was selected to appear in 2002’s “Path to War” before he appeared in the film “Open Range” a year later. 2004 saw him in five films, including “Being Julia” and “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”, before he started his long acting journey in the “Harry Potter” franchise, appearing as Albus Dumbledole in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” He reprised his role of Dumbledole until the franchise’s seventh film entitled “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts I and II” was released in 2010 and 2011. He was later seen portraying Tyson in 2015’s TV show “Fortitude.”
Sir Gambon has been cast to play several roles in BBC Radio 3 plays, such as 2006’s “Embers” and 2007’s “The Homecoming.” He has also lent his voice to Guinness ads (with the penguins). In 2013, he voiced a character in the video game “The Elder Scrolls Online.”
Achievements and Awards
Sir Gambon has bagged many awards in the course of his long-spanning acting career. In 1990, he received the Commander of Order of the British Empire award, (CBE) and eight years later, he was honoured as a Knight Bachelor, hence ‘Sir’ Michael Gambon. His works in 1987’s “The Singing Detective,” 2000’s “Wife and Daughters,” “2001’s “Longitude” and 2002’s “Perfect Stranger” saw him winning the BAFTA Award (Best Actor Category) four times. Gambon also won two Screen Actors/Actresses Guild for his performance in 2001’s “Gosford Park” and 2011’s “The King’s Speech.”
Additionally, he has been nominated for several Emmy Awards for his works in “Path of War” (2002) and several other films. On top of these, he was nominated for 13 Laurence Olivier Awards for his appearance in several plays.
Michael previously did his best to keep his personal affairs private, and once responded to an interviewer’s question when asked if he was married with another question: ‘What wife?’ However, it’s known that he married Anne Miller, a mathematician, in 1962, when he was 22 years old. They lived in Kent and his wife had a workshop there. Together, the couple welcomed a son named Fergus Gambon, who later joined BBC show’s “Antiques Roadshow” as a ceramics expert.
When he was shooting “Gosford Park” in 2001, Michael took Philippa Hart with him and introduced her to the cast as his girlfriend; she’s 25 years younger than him.
Thereafter, he made their affair public in 2002, and he purchased a bachelor pad after leaving his marital home. Five years later, the couple announced that they were having a child together and named him Thomas. Two years later, they welcomed their second son, William. Apparently he’s never divorced.
Gambon is of white ethnicity; he has grey hair and green eyes, stands 6ft (1.83m) tall and weighs approximately 170lbs (78kg). His chest, waist, and bicep sizes are 43, 33, and 14 inches respectively.
Gambon has had a long career in showbiz, and has featured in dozens of successful films and TV shows, creating a name for himself and earning a substantial net worth. As of late 2021, he’s authoritatively worth approximately $20 million.