Actors Who Got Their Starts in Shakespeare — Harry Potter Edition!

1
Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore)
Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore)
Warner Bros
Gambon has appeared in a number of Shakespeare productions, and it all started when he used a monologue from 'Richard III' to catch the attention of Sir Laurence Olivier, who became a kind of mentor to Gambon. It's like Dumbledore and Harry, but without those pesky Horcruxes.
2
Gary Oldman (Sirius Black)
Gary Oldman (Sirius Black)
2006 Warner Bros. Harry Potter Publishing Rights J.K.R.
Before he played Harry's godfather, Oldman appeared in the film Rozencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which is a twist on Hamlet. Although not technically Shakespeare, the role did prepare him for when Sirius met a similar fate. (We're not over it either.)
3
Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockheart)
Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockheart)
Warner Bros
Branagh loves Shakespeare almost as much as Gilderoy Lockheart loves himself. In addition to joining the Royal Shakespeare company at a young age, Branagh famously adapted six plays into films, and even earned Oscar nods for his work on Henry V and Hamlet.
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4
Emma Thompson (Sybil Trelawney)
Emma Thompson (Sybil Trelawney)
Warner Bros.
Thompson has stuck to mostly comedic roles, playing Beatrice in Branagh's adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing and Viola in Twelfth Night. And if only she had Trelawney's gift of foresight, she might have been able to see She's the Man coming before the rest of us did.
5
Alan Rickman (Severus Snape)
Alan Rickman (Severus Snape)
Warner Bros
Rickman joined the Royal Shakespeare company early on in his career, but surprisingly, didn't seem to play very many villains. Guess that creepiness came about in later years.
6
Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort)
Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort)
Warner Bros
Before he was the Dark Lord, Fiennes was a noted Shakespearean actor, and made his directorial debut with 2011's Coriolanus, as well as winning a Tony Award for his performance in Hamlet. So, if you're looking for one of Fiennes' Horcruxes, that would be the place to start.
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7
Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange)
Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange)
Warner Bros
Bonham Carter appeared as Ophelia in 1990's Hamlet, and then later as Olivia in Twelfth Night. Neither of which were directed by Tim Burton or starred Johnny Depp.
8
Gemma Jones (Madame Pompfrey)
Gemma Jones (Madame Pompfrey)
Warner Bros
She might only be known to the most hardcore of Potter fans, but Jones has had a great deal of success as a Shakespearean actress, even appearing opposite Kevin Spacey in Richard III. Wonder if his habit of delivering dramatic asides into cameras rubbed off on her?
9
David Tennant (Barty Crouch, Jr.)
David Tennant (Barty Crouch, Jr.)
Warner Bros
Tennant is probably the most prolific Shakespearean actor on this list, having appeared in 8 different plays, most famously Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet. Oh, yeah, and he was in this little show called Doctor Who.
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10
Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy)
Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy)
Warner Bros
Before she raised Draco Malfoy, McCrory was nominated for an Olivier Award for her interpretation of Rosalind in As You Like It. Narcissa probably wished for Rosalind's skill with disguises when she was trying to save Draco from Voldemort.
11
Kate Fleetwood (Mary Cattermole)
Kate Fleetwood (Mary Cattermole)
Warner Bros
She may have only had a small part in the Harry Potter serise, but Fleetwood is a big name in the Shakespeare community, even earning a Tony Award nomination for playing Lady Macbeth opposite Patrick Stewart. Which essentially makes her the one thing that links Harry Potter and Star Trek together.
12
Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall)
Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall)
Warner Bros
Dame Maggie Smith earned her first of six Acacemy Award nominations for playing Desdemona in the 1965 adaptation of Othello, and in 2012 was honored with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival's Legacy Award. The Dowager Countess of Grantham would no doubt approve.
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13
Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge)
Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge)
Warner Bros.
Staunton got her start in the Royal Shakespeare Company, and appeared in the 1996 adaptation of Twelfth Night, which meant that she had plenty of great villains to draw upon when torturing a castle full of students.
14
Timothy Spall (Peter "Wormtail" Pettigrew)
Timothy Spall (Peter "Wormtail" Pettigrew)
Warner Bros
Spall began his career in the Royal Shakespeare Company, like so many others, and has appeared in productions such as The Merry Wives of Windsor. However, he will always be known to most of the world as the guy who sold out James and Lily Potter.
15
Zoe Wanamaker (Madam Hooch)
Zoe Wanamaker (Madam Hooch)
Warner Bros
Wanamaker played flying instructor Madam Hooch in Harry Potter, and she has appeared in productions of Much Ado About Nothing and The Taming of the Shrew - which is surprisingly easy compared to taming a Quidditch team.

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