“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,” his children Emma, Justine and Paul said in a joint statement.
Hardy was known to many for playing Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic, in the Harry Potter films, first appearing in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Author JK Rowling has since paid tribute, writing on Twitter: “So very sad to hear about Robert Hardy. He was such a talented actor and everybody who worked with him on Potter loved him.”
Hardy died on Wednesday (2 August) at Denville Hall, a famed London retirement home known to house many professional actors.
The acclaimed character actor’s career began in 1959, playing various roles on stage, achieving national recognition playing Siegfried Farnon on the television series All Creatures Great And Small in 1978.
Hardy went on to play political figures Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt multiple times, winning a BAFTA for his performance as the British leader in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years in 1981.
“Dad is also remembered as a meticulous linguist, a fine artist, a lover of music and a champion of literature, as well a highly respected historian, and a leading specialist on the longbow,” his children said.
“He was an essential part of the team that raised the great Tudor warship The Mary Rose. Gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified, he is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him, and everyone who enjoyed his work.”
Hardy was awarded a CBE for his services to acting