London: Actor Richard Griffiths, who played Harry Potter`s uncle in the wizard franchise, has died from complications following heart surgery. He was 65.
The stage and screen star, one of Britain`s most loved character actors, is best remembered for playing Uncle Vernon Dursley in the `Harry Potter` films and uncle Monty in the cult classic `Withnail and I`.
Griffiths died at the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire, reported the Guardian.
Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter alongside him, fondly remembered the actor whose "encouragement, tutelage and humour" made work "a joy".
Radcliffe, who also performed with Griffiths in the stage play Equus, said, "Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career.
"In August 2000, before official production had even begun on Potter, we filmed a shot outside the Dursleys`, which was my first ever shot as Harry. I was nervous and he made me feel at ease.
"Seven years later, we embarked on Equus together. It was my first time doing a play but, terrified as I was, his encouragement, tutelage and humour made it a joy," he said.
Griffiths received a host of awards for his performance as the teacher Hector in Alan Bennett`s play The History Boys, both in the West End and on Broadway.
These included the Laurence Olivier award for best actor, the Drama Desk award for outstanding actor in a play, the Outer Critics Circle award for best featured actor in a play, and a Tony award for best performance by a leading actor in a play.
He was born July 31, 1947 in Thornaby-on-Tees, the son of a steelworker. His parents were both deaf and he learned sign language at an early age so he could communicate with them.