Remembering Harry Potter stars who passed away: From Alan Rickman to Richard Harris

No caption
-Credit: (Image: Unknown)

The Harry Potter film series has given us some of the most recognisable names in the acting world, and the loss of several cast members over the years has deeply affected fans. The franchise not only catapulted Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint to stardom but also featured already renowned actors, some of whom have sadly passed away since their appearances.

Acting greats such as Alan Rickman and Helen McCrory are among those who have died post their roles in the films, while others tragically didn't live to see the end of the series, like 18 year old Robert Knox, who was brutally murdered.

Let's take a moment to remember these beloved actors.

Richard Harris.

The legendary British actor Richard Harris portrayed Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the first two films - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, reports the Mirror.

Besides his role in the wizarding world, Harris is remembered for his performances in Gladiator, Unforgiven, Camelot, and The Count of Monte Cristo.

Sadly, he passed away on 25th October 2002, shortly after the release of the second film. He was 72 years old.

Robert Knox

Photo of Robert Knox and photo of him in character
Robert Knox was tragically murdered -Credit:Warner Bros/Getty Images

Robert Knox appeared in the Half-Blood Prince film as Marcus Belby.

He had signed a contract to appear in the Deathly Hallows, part one.

Tragically, in May 2008, Robert was killed outside a bar in Sidcup, London.

He was just 18 years old.

Timothy Bateson.

Timothy Bateson lent his voice to the less popular house elf in the Harry Potter series - Kreacher.

Born in 1926, he was renowned for his roles in films and TV shows from as early as the 1950s, but he also starred in Labyrinth in 1986.

He played a part in the Order of the Phoenix film, which ended up being his final work before his death in 2009.

Michael Gambon

Photo of Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon -Credit:Getty Images

After Richard Harris' death, Michael Gambon was chosen to play Dumbledore.

He portrayed the headmaster role until the character's heartbreaking death (spoiler!) in the Half-Blood Prince.

Before joining the Harry Potter universe, Michael was recognised as one of the original members of the Royal National Theatre.

He gained fame for appearing in several Shakespearean plays including Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth and Coriolanus.

Michael passed away in September, 2023.

Derek Deadman.

Derek Deadman in Harry Potter and photo of him
Derek Deadman in Harry Potter -Credit:Warner Bros/Getty Images

Derek Deadman starred as British wizard Tom who worked at The Leaky Cauldron.

The character's job roles included being the landlord, innkeeper and the barman.

Derek famously played Ringo in Never the Twain and also appeared in Jabberwocky, Time Bandits and The Scarlet Pimpernel.

He passed away in 2014.

Elizabeth Spriggs

Elizabeth Spriggs in character
Elizabeth Spriggs as The Fat Lady -Credit:Warner Bros/Getty Images

Elizabeth Spriggs appears in just the first Harry Potter film as The Fat Lady - a living portrait and also the key to the Gryffindor common room dormitories.

Characters had to state a password before she would open the door.

Elizabeth also had roles in Sense and Sensibility, Is Anybody There and Simon and the Witch.

She passed away in 2008.

Roger Lloyd Pack.

Photo of Roger Lloyd Pack
Roger Lloyd-Pack died after developing pancreatic cancer -Credit:PA

Roger Lloyd Pack graced the Harry Potter series with a haunting portrayal of Ministry of Magic official Barty Crouch Senior in the Goblet of Fire. Renowned for his performances in Only Fools and Horses, The Vicar of Dibley, and Doctor Who, Roger's death in 2014 left a significant void in British entertainment.

Richard Griffiths

Richard Griffiths as Mr Vernon Dursley
Richard Griffiths brought life to the detestable Mr Vernon Dursley -Credit:Warner Bros/Getty Images

Richard Griffiths brought life to the detestable Mr Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films, delivering memorable lines like "36, counted them myself."

Despite his role as the disagreeable uncle, Richard won over fans worldwide and had an illustrious career that included roles in Chariots of Fire and The History Boys. His passing away in 2013 was met with great sorrow by fellow actors and audiences alike.

Jimmy Gardner

Jimmy Gardner was recognisable to many for playing Ernie, the magical night bus driver, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He delivered a line that has since become emblematic of the series: "take it away Ern, it's going to be a bumpy ride".

Jimmy appeared just once in the sequence, yet his impact endured until his death in May 2010.

Alan Rickman

Photo of Alan as Snape and photo of Alan at premiere
Alan Rickman - Severus Snape -Credit:Warner Bros/Getty Images

Alan Rickman's masterful performance as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films cemented his status as one of Britain's most beloved actors. Alan, who also starred in Love Actually and Sense and Sensibility, portrayed a character who initially seemed despicable but eventually revealed a complex backstory filled with tragic love.

After a private battle with terminal cancer, Alan Rickman passed away in 2016, leaving behind a legacy of iconic film roles.

Dave Legeno

Dave Legeno instilled fear as the menacing werewolf Fenrir Greyback, a loyal Death Eater in the wizarding world of Harry Potter.

The character made an appearance in the Half-Blood Prince on the fateful night of Dumbledore's demise.

In 2014, the actor's body was discovered in Death Valley, California. The cause of Dave Legeno's death was determined to be heat-related health issues.

Death Valley, known as California's most arid and sweltering National Park, is notoriously perilous for hikers.

Eric Sykes

Eric Sykes portrayed Frank Bryce, the gardener employed by Voldermort's grandparents.

His character meets his end in the fourth film - the Goblet of Fire - after inadvertently eavesdropping on a conversation between The Dark Lord and his serpent Nagini.

He gained fame for his work on the cult comedy The Goon Show, although his career began with writing for radio.

Eric passed away in July 2012.

Terence Bayler.

Terence as the Bloody Baron and photo of Terence
Terence as the Bloody Baron -Credit:Warner Bros/Getty Images

New Zealand actor Terence Bayler took on the role of The Bloody Baron, the mischievous spectre in the Philosopher's Stone.

He also had a notable role in Monty Python's Life of Brian,.

He passed away in 2016.

Alfred Burke.

Alfred took on the role of Armando Dippet in the second Harry Potter film, The Chamber of Secrets.

He featured as the headmaster of Hogwarts during a flashback scene that depicted Dumbledore as a student.

He passed away in 2011.

Peter Cartwright

Peter Cartwright brought to life Elphias Doge, a member of the Order of the Phoenix.

His character assisted Harry in reaching Grimmauld Place in the fifth film.

Regrettably, Peter passed away in 2013, before the final films were completed.

The character was subsequently portrayed by David Ryall.

David Ryall

As mentioned earlier, David Ryall stepped into the role of Elphias Doge following Peter Cartwright's passing.

He featured in the Deathly Hallows, part one before his demise in 2014.

David also had a role as Grandad in the popular BBC sitcom Outnumbered.

Robert Hardy

Robert as Fudge and photo of Robert
Robert Hardy - Cornelius Fudge -Credit:Warner Bros/Getty Images

In the Harry Potter series, Robert Hardy took on the role of Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic.

His appearances as Fudge were in the Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix.

With a career spanning over seven decades, he was renowned for his portrayals of Winston Churchill.

He was also well-known for his role in All Creatures Great and Small.

He passed away in 2017.

Hazel Douglas.

Actress Hazel Douglas portrayed Bathilda Bagshot in the first part of the Deathly Hallows.

Her character was a renowned author of A History of Magic.

Her character meets a tragic end and reappears as a corpse harbouring Voldermort's snake.

Hazel passed away in 2016.

John Hurt.

A pivotal character in the first Harry Potter, John Hurt brought to life the enchanting Garrick Ollivander, the famed wand-maker.

Ollivander owned a shop in Diagon Alley but the character was seized and tortured by Lord Voldemort.

John Hurt was celebrated for his roles in 1984, Alien and the Elephant Man.

He passed away in 2017.

Helen McCrory

Helen at a premiere
Helen McCrory -Credit:Getty Images

British-born actress Helen McCrory played Draco Malfoy's mother Narcissa. Over the course of the series we see her becoming more warm, and in the end you sort of have sympathy for her.

Helen is probably even more famous for playing Polly Shelby in Peaky Blinders, an iconic and powerful female lead in the TV show.

She also played powerful roles for the National Theatre.

Helen passed away in 2021.

Paul Ritter

Photo of Paul Ritter
Actor Paul Ritter Died Aged 54 -Credit:Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

Renowned English actor, Paul Ritter, will be forever remembered for his iconic role as Martin Goodman in the popular British sitcom 'Friday Night Dinner'. In addition to this, Paul graced the magical world of Harry Potter, portraying Eldred Worple in 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince'.

The character is notable for attempting to persuade Harry into penning an autobiography during Slughorn's festive gathering. Tragically, Paul lost his battle with a brain tumour in 2021.

Robbie Coltrane

Photo of Robbie Coltrane
Actor Robbie Coltrane died aged 72 -Credit:Getty Images for Disney

The Scottish talent Robbie Coltrane captured hearts worldwide with his portrayal of Hagrid, the beloved half-giant and groundskeeper of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Coltrane's Hagrid shared a unique bond with Harry and was a familiar, comforting presence throughout the series.

Beyond the realm of wizardry, Coltrane achieved acclaim in his role on ITV's crime series 'Cracker', and he charmed audiences in blockbuster successes such as 'Goldeneye' and 'The World Is Not Enough' from the James Bond franchise. Robbie's untimely departure occurred in 2022.

Leslie Phillips

Photo of Leslie Phillips
Leslie Phillips died aged 98 -Credit:Getty Images

Though Leslie Phillips may not be instantly recognised by sight to younger Harry Potter fans, as the voice of The Sorting Hat, his dulcet tones are unmistakable. He gave voice to this pivotal character chiefly in the first movie, particularly memorable when declaring Harry a true "Gryffindor! ".

Leslie's versatile career spanned beyond Harry Potter; he delighted audiences as the grandfather in 'The Parent Trap' featuring Lindsay Lohan, and entertained many with his performances in the 'Carry On' films and 'Doctor Who'. Leslie's life came to an end in 2022.

Vern Troyer

Photo of Vern Troyer
Vern Troyer . -Credit:PA

American actor Vern Troyer, known for his role as Mini Me in the Austin Powers films, originally portrayed Griphook the Goblin in the first Harry Potter film before being replaced by Warwick Davies in subsequent instalments. Sadly, Vern passed away in 2018.

Sam Beazley

Sam Beazley, who played Professor Everard in the Order of the Phoenix, was another notable actor from the Harry Potter series. His character, a former Hogwarts headmaster, appeared in the moving portraits within the school.

Prior to his role in the wizarding world, Beazley had an extensive career in theatre, featuring in productions of Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet in the 1930s before serving in World War II. He lived to the grand age of 101, passing away in 2010.