Richard Griffiths

Uncle Falstaff

A figure of grand and troubling girth, Richard Griffiths struck awe and fear into those who saw him onstage in his Olivier- and Tony-winning turn as Hector the English prof in Alan Bennett's The History Boys or onscreen as two indelible uncles: the raffish Monty in Withnail & I and the tyrannical Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter series. Awe for the Falstaffian humor and humanity he brought to each role. Fear that his great weight might bring him down. So it did. Britain's most beloved character actor died March 28 in Coventry after heart surgery. He was 65.

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