British actor Richard Griffiths has passed away at 65 years old following complications from heart surgery in Coventry, England.
Griffths, who won a Tony Award for his turn as teacher Hector in The History Boys (a role he returned to in 2006 for the film version), was most recently seen as Uncle Vernon in the Harry Potter film series.
The actor was well known for his turn on Pie in the Sky, a British police drama that he starred in for five series on BBC1 between 1994 to 1997. In that series he played the protagonist, Henry Crabbe, who served as a policeman, as well as the head chef at the title restaurant in Westershire. Crabbe was a smart, gentle man who had one great passion in his life - food. Crabbe wanted to retire to directly follow his ambitions, but was permitted from retiring due to his outstanding work and his supervisor's reluctance to let him go.
He rose to fame in the United Kingdom in 1987, when he appeared in the film Withnail and I. In 2008, he was given the honorary title in the U.K. of Order of the British Empire five years ago.
Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter and also appeared on stage with Williams in Equus, talked about his fallen friend on the BBC's website, saying that, "Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career. I was proud to know him. Richard Griffiths wasn't only one of the most loved and recognizable British actors, he was also one of the very greatest. His performance in The History Boys was quite overwhelming: a masterpiece of wit, delicacy, mischief and desolation, often simultaneously."
Rest in peace, Richard.