Michael Gambon, Dumbledore in the ‘Harry Potter’ Films, Dies at 82
After he made his mark in London in the 1970s, he went on to play a wide range of roles, including Edward VII, Oscar Wilde and Winston Churchill.
Below from, Year of the King: An Actor’s Diary and Sketchbook, by Antony Sher. Gambon talking about his audition for Olivier, where he did Richard III.
Gambon: `Shall I start again?’
Olivier: `No. I think I’ve got a fair idea how you’re going to do it. You’d better get along now. We’ll let you know.’
Gambon went back to the engineering factory in Islington where he was working. At four that afternoon he was bent over his lathe, working as best as he could with a heavily bandaged hand, when he was called to the phone. It was the Old Vic.
`It’s not easy talking on the phone, Tone. One, there’s the noise of the machinery. Two, I have to keep my voice down ’cause I’m cockney at work and posh with theatre people. But they offer me a job, spear-carrying, starting immediately. I go back to my work-bench, heart beating in my chest, pack my tool-case, start to go. The foreman comes up, says, “Oy, where you off to?” “I’ve had bad news,” I say, “I’ve got to go.” He says, “Why are you taking your tool box?” I say, “I can’t tell you, it’s very bad news, might need it.” And I never went back there, Tone. Home on the bus, heart still thumping away. A whole new world ahead. We tend to forget what it felt like in the beginning.’