Michael Gambon

A respected veteran of the British stage who parlayed his talents into television and film, Michael Gambon was born Oct. 19, 1940, in Dublin, Ireland. He studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and was later handpicked by Laurence Olivier to join the National Theatre Company. Gambon went on to perform with the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, making his big-screen debut with Othello (1965).

Despite his classical training, Gambon is best known by far for taking over the role of headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise, beginning with Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).

Gambon earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the HBO drama Path to War (2002) and garnered a second Emmy nod for his supporting turn as the title character's father in the BBC miniseries "Emma" (2009).