- Sir Michael married wife in 1962 and they had son Fergus, an antiques expert
- He began a relationship with set designer Philippa Hart in 2005
Married for more than 60 years, Michael Gambon and his wife Anne certainly had staying power.
The Harry Potter star’s death was announced today by Lady Gambon and the couple’s only son Fergus, who said they were ‘devastated’.
They remained a small but close-knit unit despite the fact that he had a second family with set designer Philippa Hart, who is 25 years his junior and bore him two more sons.
For more than a decade, Sir Michael split his time between the £5million home he shared with Lady Gambon in Gravesend and another property in West London lived in by Ms Hart and their now-teenage sons, Tom and Will. It is understood that he and Ms Hart had not been together for some time before his death.
Married for more than 60 years, Michael Gambon and his wife Anne certainly had staying power. The Harry Potter star’s death was announced today by Lady Gambon and the couple’s only son Fergus, who said they were ‘devastated’. Above: The couple in 2008
Sir Michael had a second family with set designer Philippa Hart, who is 25 years his junior and bore him two more sons. Above: The pair at a dinner at Annabel’s in London in 2015
According to actress Hetty Baynes, who co-starred with Sir Michael in the 2015 TV adaption of Potter author JK Rowling’s novel The Casual Vacancy, the actor was ‘never happier than when his boys were on set’.
Speaking to the Daily Mail in 2015, she said: ‘They were so sweet and you can see he absolutely adores them. But I’m sure they run him ragged.
‘Having a child in later life can be an exhausting thing, but it brings so much joy.
‘When I was married to Ken [Russell, the renowned film director], he was 65 when our son Rex was born, so it was a similar elderly parent scenario which Michael has.
‘But Philippa is amazing. She does an awful lot of the work and she’s absolutely delightful.’
Sir Michael and Ms Hart had been in a relationship since 2000, when they worked on the film Longitude together.
In that production, Sir Michael starred as 18th-century watchmaker John Harrison.
Within a year of them meeting, Sir Michael was introducing his girlfriend to the likes of Charles Dance and Maggie Smith, both of whom starred with him in 2001 film Gosford Park.
Sir Michael and Ms Hart had been in a relationship since 2000, when they worked on the film Longitude together. His and Ms Hart’s first son was born in 2007, while the second arrived in 2009. Above: The couple with son Tom at Tom Stoppard’s 80th birthday in 2017
Lady Anne stayed with her husband despite his relationship with Philippa Hart
Sir Michael Gambon and Philippa Hart in 2015. The couple had two sons together
Michael Gambon and his partner Philippa Hart, with whom he had two young sons. Above: The pair in 2014
Fergus Gambon is a ceramics expert who has featured on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow and works for Bonhams auction house
Lady Gambon was said to initially have been devastated by the news of her husband’s other relationship and moved out of the home they shared. But she then came to terms with the arrangement and moved back in to their Gravesend home.
Sir Michael would whizz between that country pile and London in his selection of sports cars, which included a Ferrari and Audi R8.
Sir Michael also kept his own separate home in London to give him breathing space when he was working.
His and Ms Hart’s first son was born in 2007, while the second arrived in 2009. Fergus Gambon is a ceramics expert who has featured on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow and works for Bonhams auction house.
Fergus was said to have a particularly close relationship with his mother, who is a retired mathematician. She also creates her own pottery and has a passion for bookbinding. She married Sir Michael in 1962.
A statement released today on behalf of Lady Gambon and Fergus read: ‘We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon.
The actor with Dame Maggie Smith and Lady Antonia Fraser, attending the press night of ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’ at the Duchess Theatre on September 22, 2010 in London
‘Beloved husband and father, Michael died peacefully in hospital with his wife Anne and son Fergus at his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia. Michael was 82.
‘We ask that you respect our privacy at this painful time and thank you for your messages of support and love.’
The star, who was the son of an engineer and seamstress, grew up in Dublin and left school at 15 with no qualifications.
By the age of 21 he was a qualified engineer but only did the job for a year before opting to become an actor.
Despite his succession of film, TV and stage credits, he still had a passion for practical work – as evidenced by the large workshop he kept at his Kent home.
He also kept a large collection of antique firearms and clocks and was a qualified pilot.
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