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 has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

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