British character actor David Ryall has passed away at the age of 79. He is best remembered by American audiences as Elphias Doge in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hollows Pt. 1, but his career extends far beyond the world of J.K. Rowling, inhabiting stage and screen. From Variety:
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.
There has already been quite a response from friends and fans, including Sherlock writer/actor Mark Gatiss and his daughter, actress Charlie Ryall. The latter took the time to note that her father was more than just a role in a Harry Potter film. From Deadline:
Rayall’s extensive UK TV credits included the BBC’s The Singing Detective in the mid-1980s and roles on such staple Brit series as Prime Suspect, The Return Of Shelley, The Borrowers, Foyle’s War and most recently the BBC’s Outnumbered and The Village. In the latter series he played Old Bert, who serves as town patriarch and narrator in the series about life in a Derbyshire village in the early 1900s.
On the feature side, Ryall’s credits included 2008’s City Of Ember, Deathly Hallows Part I, 2011’s Hysteria starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and this year’s Mr. Turner starring Timothy Spall, playing a footman. According to IMBb, his most recent project was the Gabe Ibanez-directed sci-fi thriller Automata which starred Antonio Banderas. Millennium Films released it in the U.S. in October.
It’s a hard time of year to lose someone, so I can only hope that everyone involved has some sort of peace. I can certainly happen to anyone, but it’s always tougher when it is someone you’re close to.