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Actor Richard Griffiths, best known for his roles in The History Boys, Withnail & I and Pie In The Sky, has died of complications following heart surgery at the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire. He was 65, SkyNews reported.
Born in Thornaby-on-Tees in North Yorkshire in 1947, Griffiths established himself as a much-loved character actor in dozens of films and television series over five decades.
His best known roles included his turn as the lascivious Uncle Monty in the cult 1987 movie Withnail & I, and as Hector in the stage and film version of Alan Bennett's The History Boys.
He had recently been introduced to a new generation of fans with his performances as Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films.
“In fact, 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,” Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as Harry Potter said.
Griffiths worked with big-name Hollywood directors - featuring in Martin Scorsese's Hugo and Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow - as well as appearing in TV comedies like The Vicar Of Dibley, Ted And Ralph and Lovejoy.
His agent Simon Beresford said: “Richard brightened my days and enriched the life of anyone he came into contact with.”