So Sad — 17 Beloved Harry Potter Actors Who Tragically Passed Away

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It seems pretty insane that it’s been 16 years since the Harry Potter films first came into our lives. In that time, the franchise has seen many happy moments off screen, including cast members’ engagements, acting accomplishments and, let’s just say ~general successes~. For as many cheery events that the crew have gotten to experience as a group, it should come as no surprise that in the past 16 years the franchise has also dealt with its fair share of heartbreak.

Actor John Hurt passed away at the end of the month, making him join a long list of other HP stars who are also no longer with us. Since the franchise kicked off in 2001, 17 stars from the series have died of both natural causes and tragically unexpected events. While they may be gone, they will be forever remembered for their contributions to the acting world.


Richard Harris

Character played: Albus Dumbledore (#1)

The OG Dumbledore sadly died in 2002 from Hodgkin's disease at 72 years old. Apart from his role in the first two Harry Potter films, he also starred in Gladiator and The Count of Monte Cristo.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Alan Rickman

Character played: Severus Snape

Fans were heartbroken when Alan died last year after a secret battle with pancreatic cancer. J.K. Rowling voiced her sadness about losing such a phenomenal actor and person, calling the man a "a magnificent actor and a wonderful man."

His last film, Alice Through the Looking Glass, was actually released after the he died at age 69.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Richard Griffiths

Character played: Vernon Dursley

Richard may have played a total jerk in HP, but he was a sweetheart IRL. He tragically died in 2013 from complications after having heart surgery, leaving behind a loving wife of 33 years.

Photo: Warner Bros.

John Hurt

Character played: Garrick Ollivander

John is the most recent Harry Potter actor to pass away and he actually died from the same disease that took Alan Rickman's life one year prior.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Robert Knox

Character played: Marcus Belby

Robert was just entering the entertainment industry when he unexpectedly died in 2008. He was in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and was only 18 years old when he got stabbed during a fight outside of a pub while trying to defend his younger brother.

The man who murdered the teen was sentenced to life in prison.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Roger Lloyd-Pack

Character played: Barty Crouch Sr.

Roger died from the same disease that took John Hurt and Alan Rickman — pancreatic cancer. While YA fans know the 69-year-old as the older Barty Crouch, he was also well-known for his roles in the British sitcom Only Fools and Horses, as well as Doctor Who (which he was in with his on-screen HP son, David Tennent).

Photo: Warner Bros.

Timothy Bateson

Character played: Kreacher

Timothy was the voice actor for the problematic house elf in the fifth Harry Potter film. After his untimely death in September 2009, he was replaced by Simon McBurney for future movies.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Elizabeth Spriggs

Character played: The Fat Lady (#1)

While some roles had to be recast because the actor had died, Elizabeth's was given to someone else while she was alive and healthy. Though she'd snagged the role of the Fat Lady in the first two films (the 'bouncer,' if you will, for the Gryffindor corridors), the director of HP 3 decided to give the part to someone better known for her comedy skills. Elizabeth died in 2008 at age 78.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Terence Bayler

Character played: The Bloody Baron

The New Zealander died in August 2016 at the age of 86. He was known for his connection with Monty Python in various movies and TV shows.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Dave Legeno

Character played: Fenrir Greyback

The Harry Potter villain tragically died during a hike in Death Valley, California, in 2014, at just 50. How eerie! Apparently, the mixed martial artist may have been dead for three or four days before his body was found.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Eric Sykes

Character played: Frank Bryce

Eric may not have had an enormous role in the YA series, but many recognize this face as the Riddle family gardener who opens the fourth HP film.

The actor died surrounded by family at age 89 in July 2012.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Peter Cartwright

Character played: Elphias Doge (#1)

Peter played an Order of the Phoenix member in film #5... but he was replaced by David Ryall for Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

He died at age 78, from cancer.

Photo: Warner Bros.

David Ryall

Character played: Elphias Doge (#2)

In one movie series, two Elphias Doges died! David died in 2014 at age 79.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Jimmy Gardner

Character played: Ernie Prang

This Harry Potter actor died from pneumonia when he was 85 years old on May 3, 2010.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Hazel Douglas

Character played: Bathilda Bagshot

Hazel, who died at age 92 last Fall, may have played one of the SCARIEST roles in HP (literally a snake was living inside of her).

Photo: Warner Bros.

Rik Myall

Character played: Peeves the Poltergeist

Most hardcore Harry Potter fans believe Peeves' exclusion from the film adaptation to be absolute blasphemy, but what some don't know is that the character actually WAS in the first movie before all his scenes got cut!

Movie execs weren't really happy with the way the CGI turned out in the final version, so they gave him the axe! Subsequently, his part in all future films was cut as well.

In 2014, the actor died of an "acute cardiac event" after going for a jog. Several HP actors attended the funeral, including Alan Rickman.

Photo: Warner Bros.

Alfred Burke

Character played: Armando Dippet

Twelve days before his 93rd birthday, Alfred sadly passed away from a chest infection. While his role in the film series was fairly small, he had dedicated over 50 years to working in the entertainment industry.

Photo: Warner Bros.

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