Whether you're a die-hard Potterhead or just an occasional reader or watcher of the movies and books, Harry Potter's magic has touched millions worldwide. But as time marches on, so do the lives of those who brought J.K. Rowling's beloved characters to life on the big screen. We're paying our respects to Harry Potter stars who have left us since their enchanting performances in the wizarding world. Wands in the air, guys!
1. Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore)
Michael Gambon took on the role of Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series, bringing wisdom and authority to the character. Dumbledore served as Harry's mentor and guide throughout his journey as the headmaster of Hogwarts.
One of his most memorable quotes was, “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.” He passed away from pneumonia at 82 in 2023, leaving a legacy of his portrayal of the beloved headmaster.
2. Alan Rickman (Severus Snape)
Alan Rickman's portrayal of Severus Snape was characterized by its complexity and depth, as he masterfully portrayed both the character's heroism and enigma. Snape's complex relationship with Harry evolved from animosity to revelation, with Snape ultimately being revealed as a guardian of Harry's life. Sadly, he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer at 69 in 2016, leaving fans mourning the loss of this iconic actor.
3. Vern Troyer (Griphook)
Vern Troyer brought the goblin Griphook to life with his memorable performance. Griphook, portrayed by Vern Troyer, was the goblin who played a crucial role in helping Harry, Ron, and Hermione break into Gringotts Bank as they sought to retrieve a Horcrux, making him an integral part of their dangerous mission. His untimely death at the age of 49 in 2018 saddened fans who remembered his unique contribution to the saga.
4. Richard Harris (Albus Dumbledore)
Richard Harris was the original Dumbledore, who will always hold a special place in the hearts of Potter fans worldwide. As the first Dumbledore, he guided Harry through his early years at Hogwarts and laid the foundation for Harry's journey. He had such a warm smile! His battle with Hodgkin's disease ended at the age of 72 in 2002, marking the passing of a beloved actor who played a key role in the early Harry Potter films.
5. Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy)
Helen McCrory portrayed the complex character Narcissa Malfoy with elegance and nuance. Her loyalty to her family, including her son Draco, often put her at odds with Harry. She also continued to grow in her disillusionment with Voldemort's regime
She succumbed to cancer at the age of 52 in 2021, leaving behind a legacy of her compelling performance for all to remember.
6. John Hurt (Garrick Ollivander)
John Hurt played the wandmaker Garrick Ollivander, and he brought authenticity to the role. Ollivander provided Harry with his first magic wand and was a source of valuable information about wand lore. He passed away at 77 in 2017 due to pancreatic cancer, leaving a void in the hearts of Harry Potter fans.
7. Robert Hardy (Cornelius Fudge)
Robert Hardy took on the part of Cornelius Fudge, who was the Minister for Magic during a tumultuous period, marked by denial of Voldemort's return, which strained his relationship with Harry, who sought the truth. Hardy's performance captured Fudge's political complexity and the challenges he posed to Harry's journey. Robert Hardy died in 2017 at the age of 91 due to complications related to a lung infection.
8. Richard Griffiths (Vernon Dursley)
Richard Griffiths portrayed the gruff Uncle Vernon Dursley. He provided Harry with a less-than-welcoming home before he started as a wizard at Hogwarts. He was also known for his staunch belief in normality and his utter disdain for anything related to magic, which created a tumultuous and often adversarial relationship with his nephew Harry. He left the world at the age of 65 in 2013, having left a mark on the Harry Potter series.
9. Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid)
Robbie Coltrane was the gentle giant, Hagrid, who endeared himself to audiences worldwide. He was Harry's friend and protector, and he introduced him to the wizarding world and provided unwavering support. His passing at the age of 72 in 2022 marked the end of an era, leaving a void in the hearts of Harry Potter fans who cherished his warm-hearted character. He was undoubtedly one of my favorite characters!
10. Dave Legeno (Fenrir Greyback)
Dave Legeno portrayed the menacing Fenrir Greyback. He was a terrifying werewolf and a loyal Death Eater who posed a grave threat to Harry and the wizarding world. His ruthless nature and penchant for attacking humans, especially children, made him one of the most menacing adversaries in the Harry Potter series. Legeno died at the age of 50 in 2014 due to heatstroke, leaving behind a character that sent chills down the spines of Harry Potter fans.
11. Roger Lloyd Pack (Barty Crouch Sr.)
Roger Lloyd Pack portrayed Barty Crouch Sr. with depth and conviction. Crouch was a high-ranking Ministry of Magic official known for his strict and uncompromising approach to law enforcement, which placed him in a position of authority and often pitted him against Harry and his allies. His unyielding dedication to maintaining order in the wizarding world added complexity during their adventures. He passed away at the age of 69 in 2014 due to pancreatic cancer, leaving a memorable contribution to the series.
12. Timothy Bateson (Kreacher)
Timothy Bateson provided the voice for the house-elf Kreacher, who was the Black family's loyal but initially cantankerous house-elf. He played a pivotal role in the series by providing Harry and his friends with critical information about the Horcruxes and the Black family's history, ultimately evolving into a more loyal and understanding character as a result of his interactions with Harry and the others. He transformed from a begrudging servant to a valued ally. Sadly, Bateson passed from natural causes at the age of 83 in 2009.
13. Elizabeth Spriggs (The Fat Lady)
Elizabeth Spriggs played the role of the Fat Lady guarding Gryffindor Tower. The Fat Lady was known for her distinct personality and the importance of the password to access the Gryffindor common room, often adding a touch of whimsy to the students' daily lives at Hogwarts. While a minor character in the series, her role highlighted the magical and quirky aspects of life as a wizard. She also died of natural causes at the age of 78 in 2008.
14. Ian Hart (Quirinus Quirrell)
Ian Hart was the mysterious Quirinus Quirrell, also known as the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor in Harry's first year at Hogwarts. However, he was ultimately revealed as the host for Voldemort's weakened spirit, becoming a surprising and sinister antagonist. Hart left us at the age of 57 in 2020 due to a brain aneurysm, leaving fans to reflect on his role in the early days of the series.
15. Leslie Phillips (The Sorting Hat)
While his face may not be immediately familiar to Harry Potter fans, the renowned British actor's voice is undoubtedly recognizable. In the initial two Potter movies, Leslie lent his voice to the Sorting Hat, the entity responsible for determining the Hogwarts House of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and their fellow students. Leslie departed in 2015 at the age of 91 due to natural causes.