Tributes pour in after Robert Hardy dies aged 91

Tributes have poured in following the news that Harry Potter actor Robert Hardy has died at the age of 91.

Tributes have poured in following the news that Harry Potter actor Robert Hardy has died at the age of 91.

The star, whose career in stage, television and film spanned more than 70 years, was best known for playing Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, in the hit movies about the boy wizard.

A statement shared by his children Emma, Justine and Paul on Thursday read: “Dad is also remembered as a meticulous linguist, a fine artist, a lover of music and a champion of literature, as well as 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.

“Gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified, he is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him, and everyone who enjoyed his work.”

Paying tribute to his most “tremendous life” and “giant career” in the industry, his family added: “From the early start, post WWII, with the Shakespeare Memorial Company in Stratford, to his later role in the Harry Potter films as Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic – he will perhaps be most remembered for 2 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.”

They added: “We are immensely grateful to the team at Denville Hall for the tender care they gave during his last weeks.”

A familiar household face, Hardy also played Tite Barnacle in Little Dorrit (2008) and Arthur Brooke in Middlemarch (1994) as well as taking the leading role in Churchill: 100 Days That Saved Britain (2015) and in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981).

One of his earliest TV jobs, in 1955, saw him take on Shakespeare as he portrayed Cassio in Othello.

The Bafta-nominated star, from Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, was also awarded a CBE for his services to acting.

Within minutes of the announcement of his death, a Tweet from London’s Westminster Abbey read: “Robert Hardy read from Henry the Fifth at our 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt service in 2015. RIP.”

The British Film Institute (BFI) posted: “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.”

His former Oxford school, Magdelen College, added: “Sad news breaking that Magdalen alumnus Robert Hardy (1944) has died at the age of 91.”