Belfast Telegraph

Robert Hardy: Harry Potter actor who studied under Belfast's CS Lewis dies aged 91

Actor Robert Hardy, who once studied under Belfast writer CS Lewis, has died aged 91.

His family confirmed he passed away on Thursday, describing him as "gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified".

The statement from his children Emma, Justine and Paul, said: "It is with great sadness that the family of Robert Hardy CBE today announced his death, following a tremendous life: a giant career in theatre, television and film spanning more than 70 years.

"Dad is also remembered as a meticulous linguist, a fine artist, a lover of music and a champion of literature, as well as a highly respected historian, and a leading specialist on the longbow. He was an essential part of the team that raised the great Tudor warship The Mary Rose.

"He is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him, and everyone who enjoyed his work."

Hardy was best known for his role as Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter films, as well as Siegfried Farnon in TV series All Creatures Great And Small.

He was born in Cheltenam in 1925 and, before his acting career began, he attended Magdalen College, Oxford to read English.

It was here the future star had the opportunity to study under renowned The Chronicles of Narnia writer CS Lewis, as well Lord of The Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien.

While at Oxford Hardy struck up a friendship with fellow actor Richard Burton, whom he appeared alongside in the 1965 film, The Spy Who Came In From the Cold.

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Animal magic: Peter in All Creatures Great and Small with Robert Hardy (left) and Christopher Timothy

Hardy spent much of the 1950s in number of theatre roles, but his first film part came in the 1958 feature Torpedo Run

His other notable acting credits include TV shows Middlemarch and Little Dorrit, and The Troubleshooters.

Hardy took on the role of former British prime minister Winston Churchill six times in total, including Churchill: 100 Days That Saved Britain in 2015 and in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years in 1981.

In 1981 the Bafta-nominated star was awarded a CBE for his services to acting.

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