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Byline: Michael Gambon

Gambon Michael ON...

SPOTLIGHT Best known for: The Singing Detective and the Harry Potter movies. Early life: Michael John Gambon was born in Dublin on October 19, 1940. His family moved to London after the Second World War, where his engineer father worked on rebuilding the city. His mother was a seamstress. Gambon's parents registered him as a British citizen around this time, enabling him to receive a knighthood in 1998. He hated school, and left at 15 with no qualifications. Despite wanting to be an actor, he followed his father into engineering for seven years before training at RADA. Career: Became a member of Laurence Olivier's first Royal National Theatre company, and made his movie debut in 1965's Othello, alongside the star. His role in long-running TV show The Borderers led to an audition for James Bond. Parts in such forgettable productions as The Beast Must Die and Nothing But the Night came next. It was The Singing Detective in 1986 that finally made him a star. He's worked steadily ever since in the likes of Maigret, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, Gosford Park, Doctor Who and Quartet Sleepy Hollow. He took over playing Dumbledore in Harry Potter following the death of Richard Harris. He's won BAFTA TV awards for Perfect Strangers, Longitude, Wives and Daughters, and The Singing Detective.

Trivia: Fiercely private, but was married for many years to first wife Anne Miller; their son, Fergus, is an expert on The Antiques Roadshow. He's now with Philippa Hart; they have two young sons.

Quote: "Theatre actors are just tolerated. You have to be a movie star to be a celebrity." Tonight: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, ITV, 7.30pm.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 3, 2014
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