July 31, 1947 - March 28, 2013
Griffiths’ film roles were in both contemporary and period pieces such as The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, Guarding Tess, and Sleepy Hollow. Later, he was seen as Harry Potter’s cruel uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter series
In 2004, he originated the role of Hector (the teacher) in Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys, directed by Nicholas Hytner, winning the 2005 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor. During the play’s subsequent United States run, he added a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and a Tony Award. He reprised his role in the film version.
Together with his Harry Potter co-star Daniel Radcliffe, he appeared in a stage revival of Peter Shaffer’s Equus at the Gielgud Theatre in London, and later from October 2008 in a short run of the play at the Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway which ended in February 2009. Later in 2009 he replaced Michael Gambon as W.H. Auden prior to the premiere of The Habit of Art at the National Theatre, once again directed by Hytner(Ironically, Gambon replaced the late Richard Harris as Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series).
Griffiths was considered for the part of the Doctor in Doctor Who following Tom Baker’s departure in 1981, but was unavailable. He was strongly considered once again to take on the role of the Eighth Doctor, had the series continued past 1989.
Griffiths has also performed in adaptations of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, providing the voice for Slartibartfast for the radio adaptation of Life, the Universe and Everything and playing the Vogon Jeltz in the film version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He has also appeared in Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler, and as a special guest in A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa.
Griffiths died Thursday at age 65 from complications of heart surgery.
This Sunday will be a sad Sunday.