'Harry Potter' actor Griffiths dies from complications after heart operation
The worlds of stage and screen last night paid tribute to 'Harry Potter' actor Richard Griffiths (pictured) after he died from complications following heart surgery.
The award-winning performer, who appeared as Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Potter films, was hailed as one of the greatest and most loved British actors by a string of his co-stars and colleagues.
His unexpected death yesterday, at the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire, came at the age of 65 and followed a stellar career.
Alongside his 'Harry Potter' role, he was best known for the part of inspirational teacher Hector in 'The History Boys' – which earned him a Laurence Olivier and a Tony award – and for playing Uncle Monty in cult favourite 'Withnail & I'.
The portly actor was awarded an OBE for services to drama in 2007.
Daniel Radcliffe, who performed alongside him in the 'Harry Potter' films and in the stage play 'Equus', led tributes to Griffiths, whose "encouragement, tutelage and humour" made work "a joy".
Nicholas Hytner, director of London's National Theatre, hailed the veteran actor's stage skills and said his death would devastate his "army of friends".