Fans of Sir Michael Gambon have this week shared their favorite memories of the legendary actor following his death.
From his expletive-ridden acceptance speech at an awards ceremony to pranking his Harry Potter co-stars with a fart machine and almost crashing Top Gear, vintage videos of the 82-year-old are making the rounds on social media.
Sir Michael died peacefully in hospital after a bout of pneumonia, along with JK Rowling And Daniel Radcliffe yesterday’s leading tribute to the titan of British cinema and theatre, hhim as a ‘great man’ and an ‘excellent actor’.
Videos that resurfaced included Sir Michael’s hilarious 1995 Evening Standard Award performance, in which he won Best Actor for his titular role in that year’s comedy Volpon.
He politely greets his future Harry Potter co-star Dame Maggie Smith with a kiss on the cheek, before entertaining the audience with a simple and honest ‘F*** me’ as he collects his award – leading to roaring laughter.
Sir Michael died peacefully in hospital after a bout of pneumonia, as JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe led tributes to the titan of British cinema yesterday
Sir Michael’s hilarious 1995 Evening Standard Award performance saw him say ‘F*** me’ as he collected his Best Actor gong shortly after kissing Dame Maggie Smith on the cheek (pictured)
Fans have since been sharing their favorite moments of the legendary actor, including a clip from his 2002 Top Gear appearance when he almost crashed (pictured)
While Sir Michael’s Harry Potter co-star Warwick Davis today shared this candid image of his children playing with the 82-year-old
Other videos of the beloved actor making the rounds include his legendary appearance on Top Gear, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson.
Sir Michael appeared on the show in 2002, where he took to the test track in a Suzuki Liana for the ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ segment – and almost crashed.
Gambon raced around the course with such ferocity that the car ended up on two wheels on the final corner of his final lap, having narrowly avoided crashing into a set of tires and clipping a sign moments earlier.
“Was that a bit scary,” presenter Clarkson asked Sir Michael as he chuckled, adding: “That was completely up in the air.”
Playing footage of the drive, Clarkson called Sir Michael’s handling of the car ‘spectacular’ and revealed he completed the course in one minute and 55 seconds.
The actor later admitted with a wry smile that his risky driver had resulted in him knocking off one of the car’s wing mirrors.
To mark Sir Michael’s impressive achievement, the final corner of the Top Gear test track was subsequently named ‘Gambon Corner’, or simply ‘Gambon’.
Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson said the actor was such a ‘great guy’ when he appeared on the BBC show that a corner was named after him on the track
Michael Gambon and his partner Philippa Hart, with whom he had two young sons
The star with Philippa Hart and their eldest son Tom at playwright Tom Stoppard’s 80th birthday party six years ago
In addition to his passion for speed, so was the mischievous Sir Michael known for his love of making people laugh and cracking jokes while filming.
One particular joke caught his eye and Alan Rickman pranking Daniel Radcliffe with a fart machine on the set of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
During a scene where Hogwarts students sleep in the Great Hall, Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape – played by Sir Michael and Rickman – quietly stroll through the conversation about ‘dreams’.
While one of the takes was being recorded, Sir Michael began pressing a button to activate a fart machine in Radcliffe’s sleeping bag.
Hilarious behind-the-scenes footage from the 2004 film shows the audience erupting with laughter as the joke unfolds, with Sir Michael delivering his lines with a straight face.
Radcliffe recalled the prank, saying that he initially did not suspect that Gambon or Rickman might be responsible for the prank.
Speaking to GQ last year, he added: ‘I immediately thought, ‘This is one of the other kids running around, and we were going to be in trouble.’
‘But it turned out it was one of the members of the British Royal Family. I think I laughed a lot, probably was a little embarrassed, but it was really funny.”
Star: Sir Michael’s family confirmed on Thursday that the legendary actor had died peacefully in hospital after a bout of pneumonia (pictured as Dumbledore in Harry Potter)
Daniel Radcliffe recalls how Sir Michael Gambon pranked him on the set of Harry Potter after the actor’s death at 82
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter); Gary Oldman (Sirius Black); Emma Watson (Hermione Granger); Michael Gambon (Dumbledore) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), posing during a photocall in 2004
Harry Potter stars Robbie Coltrane and Michael Gambon in New York in 2011
The 34-year-old actor added that Gambon had a reputation for cracking jokes and making his younger co-stars laugh on set.
“Michael could do that (mess with him) in a frustrating way. He learned that when I was a teenager, he could make me laugh very easily,” Radcliffe added.
‘It made me laugh right up to the word ‘action’, after which there was virtually no recovery and he could just start a performance with inherent gravity and charm. Yes. He is great.’
Also paying tribute today was Harry Potter co-star Warwick Davis, who shared a candid photo of his children playing with Sir Michael.
“Myself and my family had the pleasure of knowing and working with Michael Gambon. He was not only a mesmerizing storyteller, but also an actor with both gravitas and good humor,” Davis wrote in a heartfelt tweet.
Sir Michael had never formally trained as an actor and had dismissed acting lessons as “a lot of money.”
He started in the theater as a volunteer set builder and then got small roles in small productions for working-class audiences in Camden.
The actor played the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the 2002 comedy film Ali G Indahouse
Sir Michael as Winston Churchill in Churchill’s Secret, a 2016 drama about the war hero’s stroke and its aftermath
The star then bluffed his way into his first paid acting role, at the Gate Theatre, Dublin.
He got the part – a small appearance in Othello – by claiming to have played the lead in Shaw’s Candida in the West End.
Sir Michael told more light-hearted lies, including that he was a gifted ballet dancer but had to give that up after falling into a timpani drum in the orchestra pit.
The Layer Cake star previously said he was gay after being asked if he had found it difficult portraying gay Victorian poet Oscar Wilde.
Speaking about that particular lie during his appearance on Top Gear in 2006, Sir Michael told presenter Jeremy Clarkson: ‘(The interviewer) said, ‘What about homosexuality?’ That irritated me – and I said, ‘Well, that was very easy for me, because I used to be gay.’
His comment sparked a wave of laughter from Clarkson and the studio audience, as Sir Michael continued: “He was so fat. I said, “But I was forced to give it up… it made my eyes water.”