'Harry Potter' actor Robert Hardy dies at 91

His career spanned seven decades across theater, TV and film.

ByABC News
August 3, 2017, 12:36 PM

— -- Actor Robert Hardy, who starred in the theater, TV and films for more than 70 years, has died. He was 91.

"It is with great sadness that the family of Robert Hardy CBE today announced his death, following a tremendous life," his rep told ABC News via a statement. "Gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified, he is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him, and everyone who enjoyed his work."

Hardy, who died at Denville Hall, a retirement home for actors near London, recently appeared as Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, in four of the blockbuster "Harry Potter" films.

But as the family's statement cited, his career spanned far beyond the walls of Hogwarts and dates back to the early 1950s.

"He will perhaps be most remembered for two iconic roles: as Siegfried Farnon in the long-running and much loved BBC series 'All Creatures Great & Small,' and in his many and magnificently distinguished portrayals of Winston Churchill," the statement added.

Hardy's latest work as Churchill took place just two years ago in a TV movie titled, "Churchill: 100 Days That Saved Britain."

"[He] is also remembered as a meticulous linguist, a fine artist, a lover of music and a champion of literature, as well a highly respected historian, and a leading specialist on the longbow. He was an essential part of the team that raised the great Tudor warship The Mary Rose," the statement continued.

During his illustrious career, Hardy told the Oxford Union in 2011 that his proudest moment was playing Prince Albert in the TV series "Edward the King" in the 1970s.

"The reason I was proud and happy was ... seeing it at a distance, I was able to say, whether people liked it or not, that was what I aimed at," he said.

Hardy is survived by his children, Emma, Justine and Paul.

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