Actor Richard Griffiths dies aged 65 from complications after heart surgery
Won Olivier and Tony awards for role in The History Boys on stage Came to prominence in Gandhi and became cult hero in Withnail and I Known to new generation of fans as Vernon Dursley in Harry Potter Co-star Daniel Radcliffe pays tribute: 'I am proud to say I knew him' By HUGO GYE
PUBLISHED: 05:02 EST, 29 March 2013 | UPDATED: 07:12 EST, 29 March 2013
Richard Griffiths has died at the age of 65, it was announced today.
The famed theatrical, television and film actor died yesterday after suffering complications related to heart surgery at the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire.
He starred in Alan Bennett's play The History Boys and appeared in cult classic Withnail and I as the comic Uncle Monty, after getting his start with a small role in Richard Attenborough's Gandhi - but he found a new audience of fans as Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films.
Daniel Radcliffe, who played the title role in Harry Potter and also performed with Griffiths in the play Equus, led tributes to the actor.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 42||04/01/2013|
That's fucking sad. He was one of the greatest. Still can't believe he wasn't gay, though.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 1||03/29/2013|
Talented man. His Uncle Monty was a tragi-comic masterpiece of characterisation.
Did he ever play The Dane?
|by RIP, great actor||reply 2||03/29/2013|
Oh, noes. Very sad to hear this. He will be genuinely missed.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 3||03/29/2013|
Any statement from Petunia and Dudley?
|by RIP, great actor||reply 4||03/29/2013|
Yes, wonderful actor. But he was a heart attack waiting to happen. I'm not one of those gays who think your bones have to be sticking out or you're fat, but I wonder why such an obviously intelligent empathetic man couldn't get his act together to lose a bit of weight for the sake of his health.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 5||03/29/2013|
[R2] Mary! Theater Queen in her pretentious glory.
"Did he ever play The Dane?"
No, but I believe he did The Scottish play across the pond. So nuanced with many layers. It was a masterclass in acting.
In Equus he was so overweight it was visually distracting.
Very talented and a nice man.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 6||03/29/2013|
He wasn't gay, R1. You're thinking of Richard Wilson.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 8||03/29/2013|
He WASN'T GAY?
My head is spinning--a glass of water, please--
|by RIP, great actor||reply 9||03/29/2013|
I can't believe he was only 65. My PBS station reruns that crappy Pie in the Sky 1990s series and he looked 65 years old in that.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 11||03/29/2013|
For the uninitiated (like R6) the reference to "the Dane" is a quotation from Withnail and I.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 12||03/29/2013|
Unfortunately, R6 is right. I also saw Equus and his gargantuanly obese body was the only thing I saw on that stage. I didn't even notice that Harry Potter was naked. Grffiths was also wheezing through his lines so much, audience members were afraid he would drop dead during Act II. It was the most uncomfortable theatre experience I've ever had, next to watching Chita Rivera slog through the abominable Bring Back Birdie.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 15||03/29/2013|
His weight was due to radiation therapy he had as a child to correct his short stature. It was not due to overeating.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 17||03/29/2013|
Yes, and my weight problem is 100% caused by_________.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 18||03/29/2013|
I'm surprised he lasted THAT long.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 19||03/29/2013|
His character in "The History Boys" would give one of this students a ride home on the back of his motorcycle after class. The boys took turns riding with him. At a red light, he would casually reach behind and fondle the student's crotchal area. The boys were ok with it because that is as far as it went. He just liked to cup their packages.
It is a great little movie. The whole cast shines in it. My personal favorite performance is given by Frances de la Tour.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 23||03/29/2013|
QHt r19 said and I CAN'T believe he was remotely interested in women.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 24||03/29/2013|
[quote]His weight was due to radiation therapy he had as a child to correct his short stature. It was not due to overeating.
Can someone verify this with an actual medical fact please?
|by RIP, great actor||reply 25||03/29/2013|
[quote]In Equus he was so overweight it was visually distracting.
And doesn't this speak to the sexist double standard in all the world? No way would a woman that size be allowed in a co-starring role like that. Can you even imagine?
|by RIP, great actor||reply 26||03/29/2013|
r26: Even more distracting was in THE HISTORY BOYS where it is heard that his character took his students riding on his motorbike while reaching behind to fondle them.
Looking at Griffiths it was clear that he was so large it would be physically impossible for him to do so.
He was wheezing and red-faced in that play as well, I also wondered if he would have an onstage coronary.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 27||03/30/2013|
Ha! I didn't see your post there, r23!
|by RIP, great actor||reply 28||03/30/2013|
It seems Bruce Robinson who wrote and directed WITHNAIL & I based uncle Monty on Franco Zeffirelli who kept pestering Bruce, who was pretty when he was young, when he was cast as Benvolio in the '68 ROMEO & JULIET. Franco liked them young and pretty - Bruce's looks didn't last long though.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 29||03/30/2013|
Griffith is fantastic in Withnail & I. I saw him both at the National Theatre and on Broadway in The History Boys and he was absolutely wonderful. The film of it didn't work at all, however.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 30||03/30/2013|
"I mean to HAVE you, boy, even if it must be by burglary!"
Seriously, how many of you have always wanted to use that line in real life?
|by RIP, great actor||reply 31||03/30/2013|
Was he having heart surgery because of the strain on his heart from his obesity?
|by RIP, great actor||reply 32||03/30/2013|
He was having breast reduction surgery.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 33||03/30/2013|
I always prayed he'd live long enough to appear in the stage version of Star Wars as Jabba the Hutt. A part he was born to play.
His hideously disgusting obesity always left me feeling like I needed wash my hands and face when I saw him. There was just something dirty about him, as there is with all grotesquely fat people. So miserable and such liars about it.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 34||03/31/2013|
He was huge....saw him in Equus...they changed the staging and had him just sit there most of the entire time....his getting up would have taken major effort.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 35||03/31/2013|
I'm sure he was sitting because it was difficult and painful to remain standing on his feet.
Standing for more than a minute is difficult and painful for many people with arthritis and other maladies.
His getting up would perhaps have taken major effort - but standing on his feet for more than a minute would have probably been very problematic.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 36||03/31/2013|
He was fine actor. It's a shame that American audience only knew him from his appearances in the Harry Potter series. He was an actor who took bit parts and turned it into a memorable role.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 37||03/31/2013|
R34, you are too precious for this world. You have such delicate sensibilities. I bet your vomit smells likes daisies!
|by RIP, great actor||reply 38||03/31/2013|
I wonder if The History Boys will gather for his memorial service at which 'Bye Bye Blackbird' is played. I hope so.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 39||03/31/2013|
He had appearances in "Gormenghast" and "Inspector Morse" as well as the movies "King Ralph" and "Venus" opposite Peter O'Toole.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 40||04/01/2013|
Don't forget he was supposed to star in the show within the show in Episodes...
He seemed to be a good man.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 41||04/01/2013|
He was brilliant as Uncle Monty, simultaneously hilarious and a tiny bit scary.
|by RIP, great actor||reply 42||04/01/2013|