[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ctor Richard Griffiths, who was most widely known for playing the part of Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films, has died at the age of 65. His death was caused by complications following his recent heart surgery.
While he became an internationally recognisable face after landing a role in Harry Potter, many film fans will remember Griffiths most fondly for his performance as the shambolic and outrageous Uncle Monty in Bruce Robinson’s 1987 film Withnail and I. Richard E. Grant, who starred as Withnail, has tweeted his respects to his erstwhile colleague: “My beloved ‘Uncle Monty’ Richard Griffiths died last night. Chin-Chin my dear friend”.
Griffiths had a long-lived television career, starring in Pie in the Sky and making appearances in The Sweeney and Bergerac. He was also an accomplished stage actor; he starred as the teacher Hector in Alan Bennett’s The History Boys, winning himself both a Tony and an Olivier Award. He then returned to the role for a film version of the play in 2006, directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring James Corden and Dominic Cooper. In 2012, he acted alongside Danny Devito in The Sunshine Boys.
Griffiths also appeared onstage in Equus, alongside his Harry Potter co-star Daniel Radcliffe. Radcliffe has paid tribute to the older actor, saying: “Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career…I am proud to say I knew him.”
Griffiths was appointed an OBE in the 2008 New Years Honours for his services to drama, and we’re sure he would have had a lot more to offer the worlds of film, television and theatre. Chin-chin, Uncle Monty.