Harry Potter's Uncle Vernon Dead at 65

Richard Griffiths won Tony for 'The History Boys '

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Mar 29, 2013 8:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – Richard Griffiths, the versatile British actor who played the boy wizard's unsympathetic Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter movies, died yesterday of complications following heart surgery in central England, his agent says. He was 65. Griffiths appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows, but will be most widely remembered as a pair of contrasting uncles—the hero's grudging Muggle guardian in the Harry Potter series, and flamboyant Uncle Monty in 1980s cult classic Withnail and I.

A large man and a huge stage presence, Griffiths was one of Britain's leading theater actors, creating roles including the charismatic teacher Hector at the emotional heart of Alan Bennett's The History Boys—a part he took to Broadway, winning a Tony Award, and repeated for the film adaptation. "I was proud to say I knew him," said Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe. "Any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence."

Actors Richard Griffiths, left, and Daniel Radcliffe make a presentation during the 62nd Annual Tony Awards in New York, Sunday, June 15, 2008.
Actors Richard Griffiths, left, and Daniel Radcliffe make a presentation during the 62nd Annual Tony Awards in New York, Sunday, June 15, 2008.   (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
Actor Richard Griffiths poses for a photograph in New York, Wednesday, June 18, 2008.
Actor Richard Griffiths poses for a photograph in New York, Wednesday, June 18, 2008.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Richard Griffiths of 'The History Boys' poses for a picture with his Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play at the 60th Annual Tony Awards in this Sunday, June 11, 2006 file photo.
Richard Griffiths of 'The History Boys' poses for a picture with his Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play at the 60th Annual Tony Awards in this Sunday, June 11, 2006 file photo.   (AP Photo/ Seth Wenig)
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