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Gambon, Michael John CBE (Sir)

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Michael Gambon, who is shown with other actors in a caricature for the programme of ‘A Garrick Celebration of A A Milne’ on 10 June 2001, was born in Dublin on 19 October 1940, the son of Edward Gambon and his wife Mary (née Hoare). Gambon served a seven-year engineering apprenticeship before he turned to the stage. From his modest debut as a walk-on gentleman in a Dublin production of “Othello” in 1962 and carrying a spear in Olivier’s productions at the National Theatre in 1963, Gambon eventually became a leading stage actor in Britain. He appeared regularly at the National Theatre under the tutelage of Olivier. His major roles included Galileo, King Lear, Othello, Tom in “The Norman Conquests”, Coriolanus, Buckingham in “Richard III” and Jack McCracken in “A Small Family Business”. He earned awards and rave reviews for his portrayal of Eddie in a revival of Miller’s “A View from the Bridge” in 1987 (Best Actor Award from “Evening Standard”, Olivier Award and “Plays and Players”). Gambon became known to American audiences through his television portrayals of Chief Inspector Maigret in 1985 and the Singing Detective in 1986 (for the latter he won a BAFTA for best actor). His film career took off in Peter Greenaways “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover” (1989), followed by the Magistrate opposite Brando in “A Dry White Season” (1989), the crazy militaristic uncle to Robin Williams in Toys (1992), and in “A Man of No Importance” (1994), “The Browning Version” (1994), and “Dancing at Lughnasa” (1998). He recently appeared in the film “Gosford Park”. On television, remarkably, he won BAFTA awards three years in a row: for “Wives and Daughters” (BBC 1) in 2000, “Longitude” (Channel 4) in 2001, and “Perfect Strangers” (BBC 2) in 2002. Gambon became a member of the Garrick Club in 1990. He received the CBE in 1990 and was knighted in 1998.
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