Actor Robert Hardy dies aged 91

Robert Hardy (centre), star of All Creatures Great and Small and the Harry Potter films, who has died at the age of 91
Robert Hardy (centre), star of All Creatures Great and Small and the Harry Potter films, who has died at the age of 91

Harry Potter actor Robert Hardy has died at the age of 91, his family has said.

The star, whose career in stage, television and film spanned more than 70 years, was best known for playing Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, in the hit movies about the boy wizard.

A statement shared by his children Emma, Justine and Paul on Thursday read: "Dad is also remembered as a meticulous linguist, a fine artist, a lover of music and a champion of literature, as well as a highly respected historian, and a leading specialist on the longbow. 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."

The statement also described Hardy's life as "tremendous" and added: "We are immensely grateful to the team at Denville Hall for the tender care they gave during his last weeks."

A familiar household face, Hardy was also known for his roles in TV shows All Creatures Great And Small, Middlemarch and Little Dorrit, and took on the role of former British prime minister Winston Churchill in Churchill: 100 Days That Saved Britain (2015) and in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981).

Robert Hardy

Robert Hardy

The Bafta-nominated star, from Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, was also awarded a CBE for his services to acting.