Veteran British character actor David Ryall, who’s best known to mainstream American audiences as “Harry Potter’s” Elphias Doge, died on Christmas Day. He was 79.
“Sherlock” writer and actor Mark Gatiss tweeted the sad news on Saturday.
The great David Ryall left us on Christmas Day. A twinkling, brilliant, wonderful actor I was privileged to call a friend. RIP.
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) December 27, 2014
His daughter, actress Charlie Ryall, also confirmed on Twitter.
Please take a moment to remember his huge five-decade-spanning career outside of the more well-known TV & film. Not just Harry Potter.
— Charlie Ryall (@charlie_ryall) December 27, 2014
The actor’s career spans more than five decades and covers film, TV and theater. His movie credits include 2008’s “City of Ember,” 2004’s “Around the World in 80 Days” and 1980’s “The Elephant Man.”
Ryall replaced Peter Cartwright as Elphias Doge in 2010’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.” His character was a close friend of Albus Dumbledore in addition to being a Ministry of Magic jurist and an Order of the Phoenix member.
Most recently, he was perhaps best known on the small screen as Frank — the grandfather who suffers from dementia — in the BBC comedy “Outnumbered.”
His television roles also include that of Britain’s oldest man in BBC’s “The Village” and Mr. Hall in writer Dennis Potter’s “The Singing Detective.” He appeared in Andrew Davies’ adaptation of “House of Cards” (not the Netflix original series), the British sitcom “Goodnight Sweetheart” and ITV’s “Midsomer Murders.”
Ryall began his career on the stage before becoming a familiar face on British TV.
The actor joined Laurence Olivier’s company with the National Theatre at a young age, during which time he was involved with several influential plays, including Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” His work at the National Theatre also included “Guys and Dolls,” “The Beggar’s Opera” and “Animal Farm.”
Ryall is survived by his son, music manager Jonathan Ryall, and two daughters, singer Imogen Ryall and actress Charlie Ryall.