Sir Michael Gambon (1940-) b. Dublin, Ireland.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Michael Gambon immigrated to the London in 1945. After appearances in repertory at Birmingham, Scarborough.and elsewhere he joined the National Theatre Company in 1963 and he has played for the Royal Shakespeare Company. He made his Broadway stage debut recreating his acclaimed London role in David Hare’s Skylight and received a Tony award nomination.
He moved into television during the early 1970s and made notable appearances in the BBC’s period adventure The Borderers, Play for Today Tiptoe through the Tulips and Cows, and in particular Dennis Potter’s groundbreaking play The Singing Detective. With television detective serials forever in vogue Gambon joined the trend with two series of Granada’s popular Maigret.
Gambon he made his screen debut in a stage-bound adaptation of Othello (1965). His early career was patchy and involved minor roles in ‘70s horror flicks including Nothing but the Night (1972) and The Beast Must Die (1974). A film career failed to launch and Gambon returned to television until more substantial roles became available during the 1980s in John Irvin’s Turtle Diary (1985) and A Dry White Season (1989). His breakthrough came with a tour-de-force performance as a nihilistic Cockney gangster in Peter Greenaway‘s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989), which also starred Helen Mirren.
Improved roles quickly followed in Mike Figgis’ remake of The Browning Version (1994), the Irish drama A Man of No Importance (1994), an adaptation of Henry James’ The Wings of the Dove (1997) and Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow (1999). In recent years, films such Robert Altman’s much-praised comedy Gosford Park (2002), Matthew Vaughn’s stylish Layer Cake (2004) and taking over from the late Irish actor Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore in the third instalment of JK Rowling’s franchise, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), have made him one of Britain’s most revered actors. He was made a CBE in 1992 and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998.