Over the past two decades, the Harry Potter series has become a global phenomenon and captured the imaginations of book readers and moviegoers alike. Despite author J.K.Rowling's controversial comments in recent years, the series still holds a special place in the hearts of many. Sadly, several of the actors who helped bring the films to life have died since the conclusion of the series. Here's everything we know about the actors who have died since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out in 2011.
1. Richard Harris, who played Albus Dumbledore, died in 2002.
The original Dumbledore, Richard Harris, sadly passed away from an aggressive form of Hodgkin's disease at age 72. Entertainment Weekly interviewed Chris Columbus (director of the first two Harry Potter films), who said Richard expected to play Dumbledore in the third film before he died. "He did threaten to kill me if I recast [Dumbledore]," Chris said. "I cannot even repeat what he said."
2. Rob Knox, who briefly played Marcus Belby, died in 2008.
18-year-old Rob Knox died tragically young. Rob, who wrapped filming for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in 2008, was stabbed in London outside of a club. He was reportedly trying to protect his 16-year-old brother, Jamie, from a group of men inside the bar. Director David Yates dedicated the film premiere to him, and the cast wore white ribbons on their wrists to pay him tribute.
3. Richard Griffiths, who played Vernon Dursley, died in 2013.
Richard passed in 2013 after suffering complications from heart surgery. Despite playing a widely despised character, he was well beloved by the cast. Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe had actually worked with Richard several times throughout his career and told Entertainment Weekly upon his passing, "I was proud to say I knew him."
4. Dave Legeno, who played Fenrir Greyback, died in 2014.
Dave Legeno, who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback, died in 2014 at the age of 50. The Hollywood Reporter notes that his cause of death was "heat-related issues" after the actor went hiking in Death Valley and was discovered by other hikers days later. Death Valley temperatures can rise to a dangerous 120 degrees.
5. Roger Lloyd-Peck, who played Barty Crouch Sr, died in 2014.
Celebrated British actor Roger Lloyd-Peck passed away at age 69 of pancreatic cancer. BBC News reported Sir David Jason, his co-star from Only Fools and Horses, spoke highly of him, saying, "[H]e was a very intelligent man and a very fine actor capable of many roles. I shall remember him with fondness and for all the good times we had together."
6. David Ryall, who played Elphias Doge, died in 2014.
BBC News reported that David Ryall's death occurred on Christmas Day at age 79. The circumstances around his death were not given to the outlet. Director Mark Gatiss, known for his work on Sherlock and Doctor Who, tweeted his condolences. "The great David Ryall left us on Christmas Day. A twinkling, brilliant, wonderful actor I was privileged to call a friend."
7. Alan Rickman, who played Severus Snape, died in 2016.
Alan Rickman's tragic death at age 69 due to cancer left many Harry Potter fans utterly bereft. Fellow actors, along with J.K. Rowling, took to Twitter to praise Alan's extraordinary talent and genuine friendship. BBC News reported he was "surrounded by family and friends" at the time of his death. Daniel Radcliffe wrote, "Working with [Alan] at such a formative age was incredibly important, and I will carry the lessons he taught me for the rest of my life and career."
8. John Hurt, who played wandmaker Mr. Ollivander, died in 2017.
BAFTA-winning actor John Hurt died at the age of 77 after being treated for pancreatic cancer. His wife told BBC News that he had brought "joy and magic" and it would be a "strange world without him."
9. Robert Hardy, who played Cornelius Fudge, died in 2017.
Robert Hardy's acting career spanned 70 years, and the actor passed away at 91. His children wrote a statement to Observer upon his death, saying: "Gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified, he is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him and everyone who enjoyed his work." Richard was awarded a CBE for his acting talents.
10. Verne Troyer, who played Griphook, died in 2018.
Verne was known for his role as tricky goblin Griphook in Harry Potter, but also for his role in the Austin Powers films. The Washington Post reported that his death was ruled as suicide by alcohol intoxication. He had spoken about his addiction previously.
11. Helen McCrory, who played Narcissa Malfoy, died in 2021.
Actress Helen McCrory was known for her roles in Harry Potter and on the television show Peaky Blinders. Sadly, she died in her home on April 16, 2021 at age 52 from cancer. She is survived by her husband, Damian Lewis, and two children.