Remembering the ‘Harry Potter’ Actors We’ve Lost Through the Years

Celebrate the lives of those who brought magic to the extraordinary world of Harry Potter 

Robbie Coltrane
Ian Gavan/Getty, Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

Coltrane, best known for his role as Rubeus Hagrid in all eight Harry Potter films, died in October 2022. He was 72.

In the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, which aired on HBO Max earlier that year, Coltrane emotionally reflected on his time as Hagrid in the films, which were released between 2001 and 2011.

“The legacy of the movies is that my children’s generation will show them to their children, so you could be watching it in 50 years’ time, easy,” he said. “I’ll not be here sadly, but Hagrid will.”

02 of 20

Alan Rickman

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; Everett

Rickman’s family confirmed the death of the star, who played Severus Snape, to BBC in 2016. The actor died following his battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 69.

“He was surrounded by family and friends,” the family said in a statement to the outlet.

Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, shared her condolences on Facebook.

“I’m very sad to hear about Alan today,” she wrote. “I feel so lucky to have worked and spent time with such a special man and actor. I’ll really miss our conversations. RIP Alan. We love you.”

03 of 20

Richard Griffiths

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage; Everett

The British actor, who played Harry Potter’s cruel uncle Vernon Dursley, died in 2013 following complications after heart surgery at University Hospital in Coventry, central England. He was 65.

“Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career. I was proud to know him,” Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter, said in a statement to BBC at the time.

04 of 20

Richard Harris

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
J. Vespa/WireImage; Everett

Harris originated the role of Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, in the first two films, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets. He died at the age of 72 at the University College of London Hospital after his battle with Hodgkin’s Disease in 2002. Following his death, Michael Gambon stepped in to play Dumbledore in the rest of the series.

05 of 20

Helen McCrory

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Jeff Spicer/Getty Images; Everett

Known for her portrayal of Narcissa Malfoy — wife of Lucius Malfoy and mother of Draco Malfoy — McCrory died of cancer at her home in London in April. She was 52. The star’s husband and fellow actor Damian Lewis shared the sad news on Twitter.

“I’m heartbroken to announce that after an heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family,” Lewis posted in a statement on Twitter.

“She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”

06 of 20

Verne Troyer

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Ethan Miller/Getty; Warner Bros. Pictures

Although he did not voice the character, Troyer portrayed Griphook in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. English actor Warwick Davis voiced the goblin, who worked at Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and later replaced Troyer, who died in 2018. His death was ruled a suicide, six months after he passed on April 21, 2018.

Troyer, who was 49 at the time, died from sequelae of alcohol intoxication, according to a press release obtained by PEOPLE from the Los Angeles County Department Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office.

“It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today. Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyone smile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to any extent possible,” his family confirmed in a statement shared on Instagram and Facebook at the time.

07 of 20

Robert Hardy

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Ian Gavan/Getty; Everett

The acclaimed British actor died at 91 in 2017. Hardy played Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge in four Harry Potter films: Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix.

The actor’s family said he lived a “tremendous life” with “a giant career in theatre, television and film spanning more than 70 years,” according to BBC News. “Gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified, he is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him, and everyone who enjoyed his work,” the family added.

08 of 20

John Hurt

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Chris Jackson/Getty; Warner Bros. Pictures

The Academy Award nominee portrayed wand shop owner Garrick Ollivander in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and returned to the series for Deathly Hallows and Goblet of Fire, although his character was ultimately cut from the third movie. Following Hurt’s death in 2017 at the age of 77, author J.K. Rowling paid tribute to the beloved actor on Twitter.

“So very sad to hear that the immensely talented and deeply beloved John Hurt has died,” Rowling wrote. “My thoughts are with his family and friends.”

09 of 20

Timothy Bateson

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Hallmark Entertainment; Warner Bros. Pictures

The British actor voiced Kreacher the house elf in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix before he died in 2009. He was 83. Following Bateson’s death, Simon McBurney took on the part in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

10 of 20

Terence Bayler

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Warner Bros. Pictures

The Bloody Baron, one of the ghosts who haunts Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was played by the celebrated New Zealand actor, who died in 2016. He was 86.

11 of 20

Robert Knox

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Warner Bros. Pictures

Prior to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hitting theaters, 18-year-old Knox was stabbed to death outside of a London bar in 2008.

In an attempt to come to the aide of his younger brother Jamie, Knox rushed outside the bar where a 22-year-old man named Karl Bishop exploded in a burst of rage and stabbed a group of five people 10 times with kitchen knives. There, Bishop stabbed Robert five times, including in a main artery, which resulted in his death in a hospital later that night.

The actor had a small part in the Half-Blood Prince as Marcus Belby, and was set to repeat his part in the remaining Harry Potter movies before his death.

“Rob was happy, outgoing and a fun person to be with,” his father Colin said in a statement. “Rob always put everyone before himself, was always the first person to stand up against wrong. He achieved so much in his short life.”

12 of 20

Sam Beazley

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Warner Bros. Pictures

The British actor played Professor Everard in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix before he died in 2017. Beazley passed away in his sleep, according to London newspaper The Times. He was 101.

13 of 20

Paul Ritter

Paul Ritter
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

The British actor, who played Eldred Worple in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, died of a brain tumor, reps for the star confirmed to PEOPLE in a statement on April 6 — adding that Ritter “died peacefully at home with his wife Polly and sons Frank and Noah by his side.” He was 54.

“Paul was an exceptionally talented actor playing an enormous variety of roles on stage and screen with extraordinary skill. He was fiercely intelligent, kind and very funny. We will miss him greatly,” the statement added.

14 of 20

Dave Legeno

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Shutterstock; Jess Mesa/Warner Bros.

Authorities said Legeno, who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback, died from heatstroke in California’s Death Valley in November. He was 50 years old when the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department said hikers found his body in a remote area of the desert park. Legeno’s manager, Rick Bassman, confirmed the death on Nov. 5. There was no sign of foul play.

15 of 20

Peter Cartwright

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Warner Bros. Pictures

The veteran actor played Elphias Doge, member of the Order of the Phoenix and close friend of Albus Dumbledore, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix before he passed away at 78 in London in 2013. British actor David Ryall replaced Cartwright as Doge in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 before he passed a year later at 79 on Christmas day in 2014.

16 of 20

Derek Deadman

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Warner Bros. Pictures

Tom, the landlord of the Leaky Cauldron, was played by Deadman in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone before he died in 2014 from complications of diabetes, according to Seventeen. He was later replaced by Jim Tavaré — who had a completely different look — in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

17 of 20

Hazel Douglas

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
ITV/Shutterstock; Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros.

Well into her 80s, Douglas landed the role of Bathilda Bagshot in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Bagshot, the author of A History of Magic, a textbook used at Hogwarts school, was one of Douglas’ most prominent roles until she died at 92 in 2016.

18 of 20

Alfred Burke

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Warner Bros. Pictures

Before Albus Dumbledore, Armando Dippet was Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Burke played Dippet in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets before he died at the age of 92 in 2011.

19 of 20

Jimmy Gardner

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Warner Bros. Pictures

The English actor played Ernie Prang, the driver of the double decker Knight Bus, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Gardner died in 2010 at 85 years old.

20 of 20

Elizabeth Spriggs

Harry Potter Actors Who Died
Shutterstock; Warner Bros. Pictures

If you wanted to get into Gryffindor Tower, you had to get past the Fat Lady (played by Spriggs) with the right password. Spriggs, a longtime actress with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theater, was 78 when she died in 2008.

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