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Robert Hardy - Harry Potter's Cornelius Fudge - dies aged 91

Robert Hardy has passed away. His family said he had lived a 'tremendous life'

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Robert Hardy, who was best known for his role as Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter franchise, has passed away aged 91 while in hospital. His family confirmed the sad news to BBC on Thursday. They said that the actor had a "tremendous life," with "a giant career in theatre, television and film spanning more than 70 years".

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Born in Cheltenham on 29 October 1932, Robert attended Magdalen College at Oxford University before joining the Royal Air Force, later returning to finish his studies in English. After working as a classical actor and performing opposite Laurence Olivier in Coriolanus, as well as performances in Henry V and Twelfth Night, he went on to play several television roles, and is well known for his performance in the James Herriot novel adaptation, All Creatures Great and Small.

robert hardy© Photo: Getty Images

Robert has passed away aged 91

The actor has been married twice; to Elizabeth Fox in 1952, and again to Sally Pearson in 1961, which ended in 1986. He is survived by his two daughters and son, Justine, Emma and Paul. In one of his final interviews with the Telegraph, the acting veteran spoke about his reluctance to live in an old people's home, saying: "I can't think of anything worse than an old people's homes. But an old people's home full of aged actors – how, ghastly!"

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Speaking about his role as Cornelius Fudge at the Cheltenham Literature Festival back in 2011, he said: "I was kicked out in the end because I was just too expensive. It was great fun while it lasted, the boys and girls were all absolutely splendid. Thanks to those films I get the most extraordinary amount of fan mail from all over the world, even China."