Who Was the First Dumbledore? Michael Gambon Takes Over in Harry Potter Movies

Who Was the First Dumbledore? Michael Gambon Takes Over in Harry Potter Movies

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Richard Harris, with his mesmerizing portrayal, was the very first Dumbledore in the globally adored Harry Potter series. Yet, the Hogwarts’ headmaster’s mantle was passed onto Michael Gambon after the untimely death of Harris in 2002. In total, there are eight Harry Potter movies.

Who Was The First Dumbledore? Michael Gambon Takes Over In Harry Potter Movies
Who Was The First Dumbledore? Michael Gambon Takes Over In Harry Potter Movies

While Harris graced the first two, Gambon took the lead for the remaining six. However, the recent demise of Michael Gambon on September 28, 2024, has once again brought the question to the fore: “Who was the first Albus Dumbledore?”


Delving deeper into this query and recognizing the incredible talent of both actors is essential. Their combined contributions have made Albus Dumbledore an iconic character, holding a special place in the hearts of many.

Summary of who was the first dumbledore

Date Data
2001-2002 Richard Harris plays Dumbledore
2002 Harris passes away at 72 from Hodgkin’s Disease
2004-2011 Michael Gambon portrays Dumbledore
September 28, 2024 Michael Gambon passes away at age 82

Richard Harris as the Original Dumbledore

The first glimpse of Albus Dumbledore on the big screen was through the eyes of Richard Harris. His performances in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)” were truly memorable. Sadly, the magic he brought to the role was short-lived, with his passing in 2002 due to Hodgkin’s Disease at the age of 72.

Michael Gambon Takes Over

When it came to finding a successor to continue Dumbledore’s legacy, Michael Gambon was the chosen one. Taking the wand forward, he featured as the beloved wizard in the subsequent six Harry Potter movies, from 2004 to 2011. Under Gambon’s spell, Dumbledore became even more enigmatic, and his portrayal was revered by fans worldwide.

Why Michael Gambon Stepped In

There was quite a stir in the casting cauldron before Michael Gambon’s name was finalized. At one point, even Ian McKellen was considered for the role. But fate had its own plans, and it was Gambon who filled Dumbledore’s shoes, making the character his own and continuing Harris’s magical legacy.

Michael Gambon’s Recent Passing

The wizarding world is in mourning with the recent passing of Michael Gambon on September 28, 2023. His vast body of work, spanning numerous genres and mediums, stands as a testament to his versatility. However, for many, he’ll always be remembered as Albus Dumbledore, the wise and kind-hearted headmaster who left an indelible mark on the hearts of Potterheads.


From Richard Harris’s initial portrayal to Michael Gambon’s charismatic continuation, the character of Dumbledore has seen a spectrum of emotions and depths. Their combined artistry has cemented Dumbledore’s place as one of the most iconic characters in film history. As the wands are raised in tribute to Michael Gambon, one can’t help but appreciate the magic both these actors brought to the big screen.

Fans and readers alike are encouraged to revisit the Harry Potter series, relishing the memories and the enchantment that these actors and their portrayal brought into our lives.


Q: How many Harry Potter movies are there?
A: There are a total of eight Harry Potter movies.

Q: Who portrayed Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films?
A: Richard Harris played Dumbledore in the first two films.

Q: Which actor replaced Richard Harris as Dumbledore?
A: Michael Gambon took over the role after Harris’s passing.

Q: When did Michael Gambon pass away?
A: Michael Gambon passed away on September 28, 2023.