Following the death of Richard Griffiths, Daniel Radcliffe has lead tributes to the well-loved actor, who he starred alongside in the Harry Potter films and in theatre production Equus.
Griffiths played Vernon Dursley, the adoptive uncle of Radcliffe’s boy wizard, in five of the JK Rowling adaptations, and a psychiatrist who treats his character in the 2007 revival of the stage play.
Radcliffe remembered Griffiths as a hugely supportive presence during his own burgeoning 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,” said Radcliffe. “I was nervous and he made me feel at ease.
“Seven years later, we embarked on Equus 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.”
Richard E Grant, who starred alongside Griffiths in Withnail & I, took to Twitter to pay tribute to the actor and his lascivious but poetic character, saying “My beloved ‘Uncle Monty’ Richard Griffiths died last night. Chin-Chin my dear friend.”
And Sir Nicholas Hytner, who directed Griffiths in another of his most famous roles – that of gay schoolteacher Hector in The National Theatre production of The History Boys – ranked him among the country’s most cherished and talented actors.
“Richard Griffiths wasn’t only one of the most loved and recognisable British actors – he was also one of the very greatest.
“His performance in The History Boys was quite overwhelming: a masterpiece of wit, delicacy, mischief and desolation, often simultaneously.
“But that was just one small part of a career that spanned Shakespeare, cutting-edge new plays and major work in film and television.”
Griffith’s agent Simon Beresford said: “Richard brightened my days and enriched the life of anyone he came into contact with.
“On stage he allowed us to share in our own humanity and constantly question our differences. Richard gave acting a good name. He was a remarkable man and one of our greatest and best-loved actors. He will be greatly missed.
“Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go to his devoted wife Heather and his family at this sad time.”
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