By Anusha Bhagat
Veteran actor Robert Hardy, who played the role of Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter series, died at 91. His death was announced by his family, who said that Hardy died after “a tremendous life: a giant career in theatre, television and film spanning more than 70 years.” Author J K Rowling, too, tweeted, “So very sad to hear about Robert Hardy. He was such a talented actor and everybody who worked with him on Potter loved him.”
The official handle of the Harry Potter film series also expressed their condolences on Twitter saying, “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Robert Hardy, who played Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge. He will be greatly missed.”
Life and Times
Born in 1925, Hardy served in the Royal Air Force during World War II and studied at Oxford University. He began his theatre career after the war, starting with Shakespearean roles at Stratford-upon-Avon. Between 1978 and 1990, Hardy played the eccentric veterinarian Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small, a popular TV series based on James Herriot’s books about rural life in the Yorkshire Dales. Hardy has played British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in at least half a dozen films and TV series, including the miniseries, Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years and War and Remembrance. He also played U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Churchill’s wartime ally, in various British and French TV series.
Robert Hardy also played Prince Albert in the award-winning show Edward The Seventh. For his role in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years, he won a BAFTA. In 1981, Robert Hardy was awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, the CBE, one of Britain’s highest honours.
Rest in Peace, Minister
Most famously, Hardy appeared as Cornelius Fudge in four Harry Potter films — The Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix. It is likely that he will be most fondly remembered for his role as the Minister of Magic by the expansive Harry Potter fandom and will remain a cherished figure in the Harry Potter memorabilia. As a fan wrote on Twitter, “The ministry has fallen. Rest in Peace, Robert Hardy.”
A life to remember
The family’s statement remembered Hardy as “a meticulous linguist, a fine artist, a lover of music and a champion of literature, as well a highly respected historian, and a leading specialist on the longbow. Gruff, elegant, twinkly and always dignified, he is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him, and everyone who enjoyed his work.”
Featured Image Source: Flickr
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