RIP Richard Griffiths: Five Of His Greatest Hits

Richard Griffiths, as Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter films

Richard Griffiths, as Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter films

Richard Griffiths OBE, the Tony-winning star of stage and screen, has died at the age of 65. He had suffered complications following heart surgery.

Always a popular and in-demand actor, his speciality was playing highly educated and bumptious men, with a very high regard for themselves and very little patience for anyone else. It’s no coincidence that his three most memorable roles are known principally by their formalised names: Uncle Monty, Uncle Vernon and Mr Hector.

The most notorious of these was his startling turn as the depraved Uncle Monty in Withnail And I:

And the second, the resolutely, deliberately normal, but monstrously cruel Uncle Vernon, in the Harry Potter movies:

Then there was a more nuanced take on a similar sort of irascible, but also inspirational character, Mr Hector in The History Boys, for which he won his Tony award, and an Olivier award for the London run:

Then there was his detective/cookery show Pie in the Sky, for which his character was specially written with him in mind:

But it wasn’t all fine acting and nuance. See if you can spot him in amongst this lot:

By way of tribute, Daniel Radcliffe, who appeared with Richard in the stage revival of Equus, as well as the Harry Potter films, told BBC News: “Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career. I was proud to know him.”

And from Twitter, both of Richard’s Withnail and I co-stars had this to add:


Here’s a wonderful interview Richard gave to the Telegraph in 2007…

What is your favorite Richard Griffiths role? Tell us here:

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser is a British writer, broadcaster and the the author of the book Stuff Brits Like. He is Anglophenia's resident Brit blogger, having written BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog, the Top of the Pops website, and for NME, the Guardian and elsewhere. Favorite topics include slang, Doctor Who and cramming as much music into Anglophenia as he can manage. He invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic
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