Harry Potter actor Robert Hardy dies aged 91

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The Bafta-nominated actor later appeared in the Harry Potter films as Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge, beginning with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002.

Known to an older audience as snappy vet Siegfried Farnon from All Creatures Great And Small and to younger fans as Harry Potter's Cornelius Fudge, Hardy also carved out the role as go-to man for distinguished Sir Winston Churchill portrayals - he played the wartime leader nine times.

In the BBC series, which was filmed in the Dales that are sometimes still referred to as "Herriot Country", Hardy's character owns the practice, in the fictional down of Darrowby, that Herriot - played by Christopher Timothy - joins after graduating from veterinarian school in Glasgow, Scotland. They also thanked the care home the star was residing in for the last few weeks, Denville Hall, which is a home for retired actors in London.

"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 finished. His accounts of the hard work and community life of the Dales, and his role of the outsider finding his place there, became the stories of his first book, "All Creatures Great and Small" and 17 other books. He was also known for his multiple performances as Winston Churchill, with the most notable one being in the 1981 8-part serial drama Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling took to Twitter to remember the late actor with a sweet tribute after news of his death broke. "He was such a talented actor and everybody who worked with him on Potter loved him", she wrote.

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Sad news breaking that Magdalen alumnus Robert Hardy (1944) has died at the age of 91.

In 2013 when - performing as Churchill for the eighth time - he was forced to pull out of The Audience opposite Helen Mirren's Elizabeth II after a fall.

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