British actor Richard Griffiths has died at the age of 65 after complications following heart surgery, his agent said today.
Griffiths was best known for his portrayal of Vernon Dursley in the “Harry Potter” films and his credits included Withnail and I, Pie in the Sky, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Gandhi and Hugo. He received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actor and a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, all for his role in Alan Bennett’s play “The History Boys.” He reprised his role for the 2006 movie.
Griffiths’ agent, Simon Beresford, described him as “a remarkable man and one of our greatest and best-loved actors.” He said Griffiths died in the hospital on Thursday.
The actor was born in Thornaby-on-Tees in Yorkshire, northern England, the son of a steelworker. Both his parents were deaf and he learned sign language to communicate with them.
After studying drama in Manchester, he worked in radio and theatre, building a reputation as a Shakespearean clown.
Griffiths is survived by his wife Heather.
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