Actor Michael Gambon died Thursday at the age of 82 in hospital, according to his family.

The British actor had a long career in film, television and theater, but is remembered internationally for his role as Albus Dumbledore in the 'Harry Potter' films.

He assumed the role of charismatic and powerful wizard who embodied the highest moral values at Hogwarts, the school of magic he runs for most of the saga. Michael Gambon assumed the role from the third installment of the eight-film series, replacing the late Richard Harris in 2004. Gambon downplayed praise for his performance, saying he simply played himself "with a glued beard and a long robe."

Gambon began acting in theater in the early '60s and later moved on to television and film.

His most notable film roles also include that of a psychotic mafia leader in Peter Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover in 1989 and that of the elderly King George V in Tom Hooper's The King's Speech in 2010.

In the theater, Gambon was a recognized and award-winning actor of classic authors such as William Shakespeare and contemporaries such as Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter.

On television, he had outstanding roles in the series El detective cantante and Maigret, among others.

In 1998, Queen Elizabeth II appointed him a Knight Bachelor for his interpretive contribution to the United Kingdom.

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