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Whatever Happened To Harry Potter Actor Michael Gambon?

Since the first "Harry Potter" book was published in 1997, it has become a global phenomenon, spawning movies, video games, theme parks, and even a stage play. In 2001, the first of eight films premiered on the big screen.

The series is full of unique and colorful characters, all of which had to be cast properly to bring J.K. Rowling's vision to life. In the first two films, Albus Dumbledore, the elderly headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was played by Richard Harris. However, the part had to be recast following Harris' death in 2002. The filmmakers found their new Dumbledore in Michael Gambon — a replacement that bothers some fans — who remained in the franchise through its explosive finale.

After "Harry Potter" came to an end, audiences wondered about the cast and where their careers would go. If you've been curious about what happened to Gambon after he hung up his wizard robes, it will please you to know that he has continued to succeed in the acting world.

He was a bear

Michael Gambon has appeared in several films since "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2," including 2014's "Paddington" and its 2017 sequel, "Paddington 2," both of which received high praise on Rotten Tomatoes. Though his face is not seen, Gambon lends his voice to the titular character's uncle Pastuzo.

Uncle Pastuzo wears the red hat that Paddington (Ben Whishaw) is known for, and the film shows that an explorer named Montgomery Clyde (Tim Downie) gave it to him years ago, alongside a jar of marmalade. The bear is, unfortunately, killed when an earthquake strikes Peru, and Aunt Lucy — voiced by Gambon's "Harry Potter" co-star Imelda Staunton — decides to put her nephew on a boat heading for London. He takes the red hat with him, a reminder of the one he loves so much.

Despite his death, Uncle Pastuzo appears in "Paddington 2," which chronicles Paddington's efforts to find and procure the perfect gift for his aunt Lucy's 100th birthday. In a flashback, it is revealed that Uncle Pastuzo and Aunt Lucy first find Paddington while enjoying marmalade sandwiches on a bridge. Aunt Lucy spots the cub in the river, holding on to a branch for dear life. Together, the older bears save Paddington from the raging waters and decide to put off their journey to London to raise him.

He had another partnership with J.K. Rowling

In 2015, Michael Gambon worked with J.K. Rowling again, this time appearing on "The Casual Vacancy," a three-episode miniseries based on the first book Rowling had written after finishing "Harry Potter." Unfortunately, the series received mixed reviews (via Rotten Tomatoes).

"The Casual Vacancy" focuses on a small English town called Pagford, which is shaken to the core when a resident named Barry Fairweather (Rory Kinnear) is found dead. However, it is revealed that Pagford is not what it seems, and everyone is at war with each other, with the open seat on the town's council left by Barry's death being the biggest battle.

Gambon's character, Howard Mollison, is the Parish Council's chairman and is as corrupt as everyone else in the town. He believes himself to be King of Pagford, which leads to somewhat unethical behavior, such as having an affair with his business partner and subsequently paying off his daughter to stay quiet about it.

He has fortitude

Between 2015 and 2018, Michael Gambon appeared in 10 episodes of the psychological thriller "Fortitude." The fictional town of Fortitude is located in Arctic Norway and is considered one of the safest places on Earth. However, when a string of violent crimes occurs, the secrets of the seemingly peaceful residents make their way to the forefront.

Gambon plays Henry Tyson, a proud, independent, and intelligent award-winning photographer. Having recently been diagnosed with liver cancer made worse by his guilt-driven drinking, he faces exile since the island's constant below-freezing ground temperature means that bodies won't decay and any diseases they carry are only rendered inert. Throughout Season 1, Henry is forced to confront his role in a fatal accident. In the end, he believes his actions have made him irredeemable, and after shooting Detective Chief Inspector Eugene Morton (Stanley Tucci), he ends his own life. Season 1 of "Fortitude" was well received by critics, with 81% having a positive reaction (via Rotten Tomatoes).

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

He worked and worked

Michael Gambon has had several other roles following "The Casual Vacancy" and during his time on "Fortitude." In 2016, he played Winston Churchill in the TV movie "Churchill's Secret," in which the newly reappointed prime minister must hide his illness or else his political foes will attempt to edge him out. That same year, he appeared as Mortimer on BBC Two's "The Hollow Crown" alongside "Paddington" co-stars Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins.

Gambon saw much success in 2017. Besides his role in "Paddington 2," he played another prime minister, Lord Salisbury, who worked under both Queen Victoria and King Edward VII, in "Victoria & Abdul," as well as Arthur in "Kingsman: The Golden Circle." He also worked on two miniseries: the six-part ITV crime thriller "Fearless" as Sir Alastair McKinnon and the BBC One miniseries "Little Women" as Mr. Laurence.

Other movies include 2018's "The Last Witness," "Citizen Lane," "The Death & Life of John F. Donovan," "King of Thieves," and "Johnny English Strikes Again" and 2019's "Judy" and "Cordelia."