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Richard Griffiths: actor dies aged 65

Tony and Olivier Award winning actor Richard Griffiths died on 28 Mar 2013 following complications after heart surgery. He was 65 years old.

Griffiths was a popular stage and screen actor. On Broadway he starred as 'Hector' in Alan Bennett's 'The History Boys' for which he won both a Olivier and Tony Award for Best Actor on a play. He also starred on Broadway alongside Daniel Radcliffe in the 2008 Broadway revival of 'Equus.'

His many London stage credits include 'The Sunshine Boys' at the Savoy in 2012, 'The Habit of Art' at the Lyttelton, NT in 2009, 'Heroes' at the Wyndham's in 2005 and "Luther" at the Olivier, NT in 2001.

He was best known for playing "Vernon Dursley," the uncle of Harry Potter in the "Harry Potter" films" and "Uncle Monty" in "Withnail and I." He is also remembered for TV roles, including playing "Inspector Henry Crabbe" in "Pie in the Sky."

He was appointed an OBE in the 2008 New Year Honours.

Daniel Radcliife said of Griffiths death,

Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career. Any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence. I am proud to say I knew him.
Griffiths was born in Thornaby-on-Tees in North Yorkshire in 1947. His father, a steelworker, and his mother were both deaf. Griffiths dropped out of school aged 15 and began work as a porter. He was pursuaded by his boss to seek further education, and he enrolled in a drama class at Stockton & Billingham College, and then attended the Manchester Polytechnic School of Drama, which is now called The Manchester School of Theatre.

He began his acting career on BBC Radio and in provincial theatre, before finally establishing himself with the Royal Shakespeare Company where he portrayed the 'Constable' in 'The Comedy of Errors', 'Falstaff' in 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' and the leading role in 'Henry VIII.'

Griffiths' TV credits include 'Inspector Morse,''Hope and Glory,' 'Bleak House,' 'A Kind of Living,' 'Lovejoy' and 'The Vicar Of Dibley.'

Besides the Harry Potter movies, his other film credits include 'The History Boys ,' 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,' 'Gandhi,' 'A Private Function ,' 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' and 'The French Lieutenant's Woman.'

Hector in The History BoysMartin Dysart in Equus

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