Sir Michael John Gambon CBE is an Irish-born English actor who has worked in theatre, television and film. Michael Gambon is best known for his role as Albus Dumbledore in five of the seven J.K. Rowling Harry Potter films. Prior to his role as Dumbledore, Gambon was known as one of the leading thespians of his generation.
Gambon was born in Cabra, Dublin, during World War II. He worked as a toolmaker and engineer for a short time before devoting himself to studying classical art. His father, Edward Gambon, was an engineer, and his mother, Mary (née Hoare), was a seamstress.
He made his film debut in the Laurence Olivier Othello in 1965. He then played romantic leads, notably in the BBC television series, The Borderers (1968–70), in which he was swashbuckling Gavin Ker.
He was described by the late Sir Ralph Richardson as being “The Great Gambon” and he is now considered to be one of the British theatre’s leading lights. He was made a CBE in 1992.