Sad news for Harry Potter fans, and anyone who has admired actor Robert Hardy's work over the past 70 years. The 91-year-old, who famously played Minister Of Magic Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter film franchise, has passed away, according to The Guardian. He is survived by his children Emma Hardy, Justine Hardy, and Paul Hardy, who released a statement to the outlet about their father's passing.
"Gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified, he is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him, and everyone who enjoyed his work," they said. "We are immensely grateful to the team at Denville Hall [a London retirement home] for the tender care they gave during his last weeks."
They added that he was a "meticulous linguist, a fine artist, a lover of music and a champion of literature, as well a highly respected historian. He was an essential part of the team that raised the great Tudor warship the Mary Rose."
Hardy joined the Harry Potter film series in the second installment, Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets, and continued playing the role through Order Of The Phoenix. However, he first burst onto the scene of acting back in 1977 thanks to his role as Siegfried in the BBC drama All Creatures Great and Small based on the memoir by Alf Wright of the same name. He also gained recognition for his repeated portrayals of Winston Churchill, as well as his voice acting and work in theater.
The Harry Potter community is rallying on social media to give their regards to the actor that brought such a pivotal character to life.
"The ministry has fallen," one fan wrote. "Rest in Peace Robert Hardy."
"Wands raised for Mr Robert Hardy who brought Cornelius Fudge to life for us Potterheads," added another. "RIP Sir."
He will be forever remembered by his incredible work, and the magical legacy he was a part of.