Born: October 19, 1940
Date of Birth: October 19, 1940
This Dublin, Ireland native moved to London, England with his family when he was five years old. Ten years later he left school and worked in a factory sweeping floors and serving tea to the workers before being bitten by the acting bug. By the time Gambon was 21, he was a fully qualified Vickers engineer, but he turned to the stage and started training at the Edwards/MacLiammoir Gate Theatre in Dublin.
Gambon made his stage debut in 1962 in a Dublin production of Othello. He then went on to London where he performed at the National Theatre under the tutelage of Laurence Olivier. Taking Olivier's advice, Gambon continued his training at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, which eventually led to his becoming a leading stage actor in Britain.
His extensive stage work includes the premieres of Betrayal and Mountain Language in 1963, Close of Play, Tales from Hollywood, A Chorus of Disapproval (for which he won an Olivier Award), A View from the Bridge (for which he won all the major drama awards in 1987), and as the name parts in Galileo and Volpone (winning the 1995 Evening Standard Best Actor Award).
Gambon made his screen debut in filmed theatrical plays like Othello and A Midsummer's Night's Dream, but it wasn't until his role as Philip E. Marlow on the miniseries The Singing Detective that he first garnered a name on television, as well as a BAFTA award for Best Actor. Since receiving this honor, Gambon has won BAFTA TV awards on two more occasions, the first for his work on the miniseries Wives and Daughters in 1999 and the second on the telefilm, Longitude in 2000.
Film has also been a prolific arena for Gambon, though he has not received as many critical awards for his work there. Strong performances in films such as The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989), The Wings of a Dove (1997), Plunkett & Macleane (1999), The Last September (1999), Sleepy Hollow (1999) and The Insider (1999), have displayed his talents to the film viewing world. When Richard Harris died in 2002, the producers of the Harry Potter films searched for months before deciding to give Gambon the role of Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004). He also appeared in all the subsequent Harry Potter films. In 2013, he reunited with his Harry Potter co-star, Maggie Smith, for the drama Quartet about the retired members of an opera quartet.
An antique weapon enthusiast, Gambon was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his work in the entertainment industry in 1998. He married Anne Miller in 1962. They have one child together. However, while on the set of Gosford Park (2002), Gambon introduced Phillipa Hart as his girlfriend. Their affair soon led to Gambon moving out of his marital home. In 2007, Hart revealed she was pregnant with Gambon's child and gave birth to son, Michael in May of that year. In June 2009, Hart had a second son, William, who is Gambon's third child.