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Richard Griffiths dies aged 65 after complications following heart surgery

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Richard Griffiths, who starred in the Harry Potter films and Withnail and I, has died at the age of 65 after complications following heart surgery.

Richard Griffiths enjoyed a long career of success on film and on TV, but also on the stage where he was a Tony-winning character actor.

TV roles included a cookery-loving detective in Pie in the Sky.

Richard Griffiths, who starred in the Harry Potter films and Withnail and I, has died at the age of 65 after complications following heart surgery

Richard Griffiths, who starred in the Harry Potter films and Withnail and I, has died at the age of 65 after complications following heart surgery

Richard Griffiths was best known for playing Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films and Uncle Monty in Withnail and I.

On stage, Richard Griffiths’ most acclaimed performance was as the charismatic teacher Hector in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys.

After achieving a rare double of winning a Tony Award in New York and an Olivier Award in London, he recreated the role in a 2006 film version.

But it was his role as the predatory Uncle Monty in Withnail And I – which has become of one of the biggest cult classics in British cinema history – that made him a fan favorite.

Richard Griffiths was born in Thornaby-on-Tees, North Yorkshire, UK, and left school at 15 but later returned to education to study drama, before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The actor married Heather Gibson in 1980 after they met during a production of Lady Windermere’s Fan in 1973.


Richard Griffiths’ TV career saw him land bit parts in series such as Minder, The Sweeney and Bergerac, while he also played small parts in major movies such as Chariots of Fire, Superman II and Gandhi.

Well respected by his peers, Richard Griffiths was appointed an OBE in the 2008 New Year Honours for his services to drama.

In 2012 Richard Griffiths appeared alongside Danny Devito in Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys at London’s Savoy Theatre.

One of his most recent roles was in the drama Private Peaceful where he played The Colonel alongside Frances de la Tour and Maxine Peake.

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