Known to many Millennials and possibly Gen-Xers for his role as the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter movie adaptations, actor Robert Hardy has died at the age of 91.
However, always having an air of authority, Hardy had been known for decades for his various roles as heads of state on the screen and on stage. Hardy has played such high-born roles as Prince Albert, Gordon of Khartoum, Mussolini, Robert Dudley (the Earl of Leicester), and multiple Shakespearean royals.
One of his most famous portrayals strayed from the realm of politics, placing him as Siegfried Farnon, the owner of the Veterinary surgical facility Skeldale House in the 1978 British drama All Creatures Great and Small.
The role Hardy claimed was his most challenging was portraying a childhood hero of his: Winston Churchill. Young Robert Hardy was eleven when he first met Winston Churchill in the 1930s and three years later he recalls watching aerial dogfights over his school in Warwickshire, England. It was at this time that he recalled the effect that Churchill’s leadership had on his home country. He described how he readied himself to play the man he had admired for so long: “I spent nine months listening – morning, afternoon and evening – to 24 double-sided long playing records of all the speeches he’d made.”
Christopher Timothy, a co-star on All Creatures Great and Small, told the press, “He has left an unbelievable legacy of fantastic work for many generations to enjoy and appreciate… A fascinating man, he didn’t suffer fools I can tell you, but he was a good fellow… May he rest in peace.”
Author J. K. Rowling took to Twitter to remember the famed actor:
According to a statement from his surviving children and grandchildren, Hardy spent his last weeks in Denville Hall, a retirement home for actors in London, where he was given top notch care.
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