Richard Griffiths, who starred as Harry Potter's foster father Vernon Dunsley, passed away at the age of 65 yesterday. The actor passed due to complications that arose after heart surgery, his agent confirmed earlier today. Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe released a brief statement regarding his time spent with Richard Griffiths.

"Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career ... any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence. I am proud to say I knew him."

The actor was born in Thornaby-on-Tees in Yorkshire, England in 1947, the son of a steelworker. He learned sign language at a very early age, because both of his parents were deaf. He studied drama in Manchester and went on to star in several radio and theater productions. He won a Tony and several other awards for the role of Hector in the Alan Bennett play The History Boys. He reprised that role for the 2006 movie adaptation. He also starred in the 1987 classic Withnail & I as Uncle Monty, and other memorable performances include roles in Gandhi, Guarding Tess, Sleepy Hollow, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Hugo.

He is survived by his wife, Rachel.

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