It has been announced that British actor Robert Hardy has died at 91. The actor was best known to modern audiences as Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter series had an illustrious TV, film and stage career which spanned over seven decades.
His children Emma, Justine, and Paul released a statement saying:
“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.”
Hardy was also famous for playing vet Seigfried Farnon in the BBC TV series All Creatures Great and Small based on the novels of James Herriot. The series which first aired in 1978 was must watch family television and attracted audiences of up to 20 million viewers.
Hardy became something of a specialist of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and played him on six separate occasions including once on stage in Paris. He was also a keen military historian and was an integral part of the team involved in raising The Mary Rose.
Hardy was seen as a specialist on the English longbow and was the author of two books on the weapon and even presented a BBC documentary on the weapon.
Hardy was known for having a short fuse off-screen and admitted that as an actor he belonged to a group of “difficult people.” He also said of himself “The ego may be essential for survival in the wilderness of acting, but it’s something that requires a great deal of control if you’re going to make a success of life.”
He will be greatly missed by many and our thoughts go out to his family at this sad time.