Richard Griffiths, HP Actor, dies at 65

Richard Griffiths, the actor famous for playing Vernon Dursely in the Harry Potter films, died March 29, 2013. He was 65.

His agent, Simon Beresford, reported that the death occurred from complications of his recent heart surgery.

Mr. Griffiths was born on July 31, 1947, in Thornaby-on-Tees, in northern England. Both his parents were deaf, and both were angry and brutal, he told The New York Times in 2006. He learned sign language at an early age.

At one time he wanted to be a painter, but after leaving school at 15, he worked in a supermarket stockroom and subsequently enrolled in a local college, where he turned to acting. He began his career in Manchester theaters.

Mr. Griffiths is survived by his wife, Heather, whom he married in 1980.

Of Mr. Griffiths, Daniel Radcliffe said:

“Any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence. 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. 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.”

What will you most remember about Mr. Griffiths? Tell us in the comments below!

Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe at the 2008 Tony Awards

Biographical information via The New York Times

Photograph Courtesy The Daily Mail