Harry Potter remains the one book and film franchise that we will never tire of reading and watching again and again. The movies, based on the novels by J.K. Rowling, were hailed as iconic and featured a number of brilliant actors within its cast.
Over the years, sadly, a number of those familiar faces Harry Potter fans grew to know and love have passed on. In recent times, fans were devastated to learn of the sad passing of Robbie Coltrane toward the end of 2022. The tragic news of his death inspired us to take a look back at some of the other stars of the beloved film franchise who are no longer with us. Join us as we remember them below…
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Paul Grant - Gringotts' goblin
Harry Potter actor Paul Grant, 56, died suddenly on Monday after collapsing at Kings Cross train station in London. "I'm heartbroken," Paul's daughter Sophie Jayne Grant told Sky News when confirming the news. "No girl deserves their dad to be taken away. He was so well-known and loved. He's gone too soon."
Leslie Phillips - The Sorting Hat
In November 2022, it was confirmed Leslie Phillips had died at the age of 98. The actor provided the voice of The Sorting Hat in the fantasy films, but he was also known for his many roles in other iconic titles such as the Carry On comedy films.
His wife Zara said in a statement: "I've lost a wonderful husband and the public has lost a truly great showman. He was quite simply a national treasure. People loved him. He was mobbed everywhere he went. When we married he cheekily introduced me to the Press as royalty, insisting I was the new Zara Phillips and that I was related to the Queen."
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Robbie Coltrane – Hagrid
Robbie Coltrane, who played the Hogwarts groundskeeper Hagrid, sadly died on 14 October aged 72. His cause of death was not confirmed but it was widely reported the actor has suffered from health complications earlier this year. Plenty of Robbie's co-stars shared beautiful words to honour him.
Harry Potter's leading actor Daniel Radcliffe said: "Robbie was one of the funniest people I've met and used to keep us laughing constantly as kids on the set.
"I've especially fond memories of him keeping our spirits up on Prisoner of Azkaban, when we were all hiding from the torrential rain for hours in Hagrid's hut and he was telling stories and cracking jokes to keep morale up."
Rob Knox - Marcus Belby
In January this year, ITV confirmed they are working on a documentary about the tragic murder of Rob Knox who had a role in the sixth film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The actor, who played Marcus Belby, was stabbed just days after filming his scene for the movie, meaning he starred in the movie posthumously. In the film, Marcus was a member of the 'Slug Club' who dines with Harry.
Rob was 18 years old when he was stabbed by 22-year-old Karl Bishop who was subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison. At the time of his sad passing, lead star Daniel Radcliffe wrote in a letter to the actor: "Dear Rob, We are all proud to have known you and devastated to have lost you. It is terrible just to write this note. Rest in peace, Dan xxx."
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Helen McCrory – Narcissa Malfoy
Helen McCroy played the role of Narcissa Malfoy, the mother to Tom Felton's Draco. Helen, who was also known for her role in Peaky Blinders, tragically died of cancer in April 2021 aged 52.
Her husband, fellow actor Damian Lewis, shared the sad news in a statement that read: "I'm heartbroken to announce that after an heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you."
Alan Rickman – Severus Snape
Alan Rickman portrayed the role of the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Severus Snape for the entirety of the franchise's run. The news of Alan's death was confirmed in a statement to the BBC in January 2016, which explained the actor had died aged 69 from pancreatic cancer.
Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, said of him: "I'm very sad to hear about Alan today. I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor. I'll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you."
Richard Griffiths – Vernon Dursley
Playing the role of Harry's mean uncle Vernon Dursely was esteemed British actor Richard Griffiths. The star sadly died in 2013 aged 65 following complications after he underwent heart surgery.
Richard Harris – Albus Dumbledore
Before Michael Gambon became the famous Albus Dumbledore, it was Richard Harris who portrayed the role. Richard starred as the Hogwarts headmaster for the first two films, The Philosopher's Stone and The Chamber of Secrets. Sadly, Richard died in 2002 from Hodgkin's Disease aged 72, leading Michael to step in for the remaining six films.
Robert Hardy – Cornelius Fudge, Minister of Magic
The role of the Minister of Magic, otherwise known as Cornelius Fudge, was portayed by Robert Hardy. Robert was also known for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in 100 Days that Saved Britain and the films Old Harry and Joseph's Reel. Robert died in 2017 aged 91.
Hazel Douglas – Bathilda Bagshot
Hazel Douglas played the role of Bathilda Bagshot, the author of A History of Magic, in the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Sadly, Hazel died aged 92 in 2016.
John Hurt – Garrick Ollivander
John Hurt only appeared as Garrick Ollivander in the first, fifth and sixth films, but fans of the franchise will remember the wand shop owner well. John, was an Academy Award-nominee, sadly died in 2017 aged 77. JK Rowling said of his passing: "So very sad to hear that the immensely talented and deeply beloved John Hurt has died. My thoughts are with his family and friends."
Paul Ritter – Eldred Worple
Paul Ritter played Edred Worple in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince but was also known for his roles in shows like Friday Night Dinner and Chernobyl. The actor died of a brain tumour in April 2021 aged 54.
Dave Legeno – Fenrir Greyback
Dave Legeno played Fenrir Greyback and was 50 years old when he died from heatstroke in California in November 2021.
Elizabeth Spriggs – the Fat Lady
The Fat Lady was a painting depicted outside the Gryffindor common room and, if students wanted to pass, they had to provide her with the password.
The actress who portrayed her was Elizabeth Spriggs, who was also famed for her extensive theatre career. She died in 2008 aged 78.
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