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Richard Griffiths was 'an extraordinary actor'

The director of the award winning play The History Boys has paid tribute to the actor Richard Griffiths, describing him as an "extraordinary actor with a huge versatility".

Griffiths received a Tony Award and a Lawrence Olivier Award for his portrayal of the eccentric teacher Hector in the production.

Nicholas Hytner, who is also the Director of the National Theatre, said the role was the "pinnacle of a remarkable career".

Richard Griffiths' long career on screen and stage

Richard Griffiths (C) in the theatre production of Equus at the Gielgud Theatre in London Credit: Alma Robinson/EMPICS Entertainment
Richard Griffiths gives a speech after receiving an award in 2004 Credit: Ian West/PA Wire
Richard Griffiths and guest arrive for the premiere of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in London in 2002 Credit: Ian West/PA Archive/Press Association Images


Daniel Radcliffe pays tribute to mentor Richard Griffiths

Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter alongside Richard Griffiths, led tributes to the actor whose "encouragement, tutelage and humour" made work a joy to work with.

Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career.

In August 2000, before official production had even begun on Potter, we filmed a shot outside the Dursleys', which was my first ever shot as Harry. I was nervous and he made me feel at ease.

Seven years later, we embarked on Equus [at the Gielgud Theatre in London] together. It was my first time doing a play but, terrified as I was, his encouragement, tutelage and humour made it a joy.

In fact, any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence. I am proud to say I knew him.

– daniel radcliffe, actor

Richard Griffiths' most famous stage and screen roles

Here are some of Richard Griffiths' most famous roles on screen and stage:

  • Hector, the teacher, in Alan Bennett's play The History Boys
  • Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films
  • Mr Bayham Badger in the 2005 TV adaptation of Charles Dickens's Bleak House
  • Inspector Henry Crabbe, policeman and pie chef, in TV series Pie In The Sky
  • Swelter in TV series Gormenghast
  • Uncle Monty in film Withnail and I
  • Head porter at Caius College in film Chariots of Fire

British actor Richard Griffiths dies aged 65

Actor Richard Griffiths Credit: Jon Furniss/ /EMPICS Entertainment

Richard Griffiths, one of Britain's most celebrated character actors, has died from complications following heart surgery. He was 65.

He passed away yesterday at the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire.

Griffiths, who was best known as Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films, had a long career in stage and screen.