British actor Robert Hardy, who was known for his roles in the Harry Potter film franchise and All Creatures Great and Small, has passed away at the age of 91.
His family released a statement to announce the sad news last night, with his children Emma, Justine and Paul praising his “tremendous life” and “giant career in theatre, television and film spanning more than 70 years”.
Hardy, who was awarded a CBE for his services to acting, played the role of Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic, throughout the Harry Potter film franchise. He first appeared in the second film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Author JK Rowling paid an emotional tribute to Hardy on Twitter, writing that she was, “so very sad to hear about Robert Hardy”.
“He was such a talented actor and everybody who worked with him on Potter loved him,” she added.
The news of Hardy’s death struck a chord with Potter fans across the globe, with more than 65,000 people liking Rowling’s tweet and over 13,000 retweeting it (at the time of writing).
“How heartbreaking, RIP Cornelius Fudge,” wrote one user in response to the tweet.
“A long life lived. [He] will always be our minister of magic,” wrote another.
And Rowling was not the only one to pay tribute to the actor on Twitter. The British Film Institute tweeted, “We’re sad to hear Robert Hardy, best known for roles in the Harry Potter films & TV series All Creatures Great And Small, has died aged 91.”
And London’s Westminster Abbey account also tweeted, “Robert Hardy read from Henry the Fifth at our 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt service in 2015. RIP.”
In the statement released to announce the news of his death, Hardy’s children also noted his many achievements outside of the acting world, before ending on a lovely description of their “gruff, elegant, twinkly” dad.
"Dad 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,” they said.
“Gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified, he is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him, and everyone who enjoyed his work."
Images: Warner Bros