Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Michael Gambon- Actor of the Week

Sir Michael Gambon
Sir Michael Gambon is a Dublin born treasure of the British stage and screen has done so many wonderful period dramas, I will never be able to list them all. He also seems to be quite a character. He flies planes and drives a Ferrari and has "Gambon Corner" on BBC's Top Gear named after the location of his his near roll of a Suzuki Liana in their "Star in a reasonably priced car" segment.

Although he keeps his private life quiet, he became a father for the third time in 2009 at the age of 68 with the then 43-year-old set designer Philippa Hart, with whom he already had a two year-old. He has been married to his wife, retired mathematician and staunch Catholic Lady Anne Gambon for 50 years. He and Lady Anne still share a house in the countryside of Kent, but he visits his other family regularly. OK, enough with the titillating gossip and on to his wonderful work.

Michael Gambon as Mr. Woodhouse with Romola Garai as Emma
I am showing my bias here again with one of my favourite adaptations ever, Emma 2009. Sir Michael Gambon does a wonderful job of the worrywart father Mr. Woodhouse who clings to Emma, ever fearful of being left alone.

Michael Gambon as Squire Hamley in Wives and Daughters
With the wonderfully meaty role of Squire Hamley in Wives and Daughters, Gambon really gets to flex his acting chops. Poor Squire Hamley goes through a contrariety of emotions, from the love he has for his cultured wife to the rage he vents at his eldest son (and huge disappointment) Osborne and then through sorrow, confusion and on to pride and happiness in his remaining family by the end of the series.

Michael Gambon as Lord Marchmain in Brideshead Revisited with Ben Whishaw and Hayley Atwell
As the aloof Lord Marchmain in Brideshead Revisited 2008, he has a small role, but quite dramatic at the end when he returns to his beloved Brideshead and to his family.

Michael Gambon as Sir William McCordle in Gosford Park
In Gosford Park, Sir Michael plays the head of the house Sir William McCordle. He turns out to be rather a key character in this wonderful ensemble piece. Well, at least Elsie the maid and his dog loved him! The 3 Dames in this film (Helen Mirren, Eileen Atkins and Maggie Smith) thought he was a rotter!

Michael Gambon as Judi Dench's love interest in Cranford
In our beloved Cranford, Sir Michael Gambon plays Mr. Thomas Holbrook, the long lost love interest of Miss Matty Jenkins (Judi Dench) and a tender story it is. I love the way he eats his peas!

Michael Gambon as King George V in The King's Speech
Lending a note of authority to the role of King George V, grandfather to the present Queen Elizabeth in The King's Speech, he shows why the relationships between English rulers and their fathers have usually been fractious.

Michael Gambon as Dumbledore in Harry Potter
And of course, we all know Sir Michael as Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series. He had big shoes to fill after the death of Richard Harris in 2002 after filming the first two Harry Potter films.

Michael Gambon in Longitude 2000
I had forgotten about Michael Gambon starring as John Harrison in Longitude. Sounds like a good birthday gift for The Squire. Good thing he rarely reads my blog. My secret is safe!

The Lost Prince 2003
The Lost Prince is on my to be watched list. I think I saw it when it first came out, but I may not have seen the whole thing. Michael Gambon plays King Edward VII in this one, grandfather to the "Lost Prince" John. There seem to be a lot of folks who love this one about the epileptic uncle of our present Queen who died of a seizure at the age of 13. Any fans out there?

Listing of period films starring Michael Gambon (thanks to Cheryl at Enchanted Serenity of Period Films):

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2008)
Brideshead Revisited (2008)
Cranford (2007)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Amazing Grace (2006)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Being Julia (2004)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Sylvia (2003)
The Lost Prince (2003)
Path to War (2002)
Charlotte Gray (2001)
Gosford Park (2001)
Wives and Daughters (1999)
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
The Last September (1999)
Dancing at Lughnasa (1998)
The Wings of the Dove (1997)
Mary Reilly (1996)
The Browning Version (1994)
Blood Royal: William the Conqueror (1990)
Much Ado About Nothing (1967)


  1. Love, love, love Michael Gambon, esp. in Longitude. He's a national treasure.

    1. I can't wait to see Longitude again! I love him too.

  2. I do not think I can pick a favorite.....It is a tie for me, Wives and Daughters and Harry Potter.

    1. He is amazing as Squire Hamley. So real that you feel his pain.

  3. Love him in Harry Potter, Cranford and Emma.

    Kate, Leeds

    1. And I love your avatar. Mr. Rochester and Jane!

    2. Thank you. I've changed it to Matthew embracing Mary after the beautiful proposal in the Downton Abbey Christmas Special.

      (Leeds) x

  4. I adore The Lost Prince, it's such a beautiful and touching drama! :)

    1. Hi Sarah. I finally saw The Lost Prince and you are right. It is wonderful.




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