Richard Griffiths

Actor, Messenger boy, Porter
After a career on stage and screen in his native Britain, where he was renowned as both a Shakespearean clown and a fine dramatic player, Richard Griffiths saw his profile rise across the Atlantic after portraying the ... Read more »
Born: 07/30/1947 in Thornaby-on-Tees, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (49)

Private Peaceful 2014 (Movie)

The Colonel (Actor)

Episodes 2011 (Tv Show)

Actor

Hugo 2011 (Movie)

Monsieur Frick (Actor)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 2011 (Movie)

King George II (Actor)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 2010 (Movie)

Vernon Dursley (Actor)

Jackboots On Whitehall 2010 (Movie)

Voice of Hermann Goering (Actor)

Opa! 2009 (Movie)

Tierney (Actor)

Ballet Shoes 2008 (Movie)

Great Uncle Matthew (G.U.M.) (Actor)

Bedtime Stories 2008 (Movie)

Barry Nottingham (Actor)

The 62nd Annual Tony Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 2007 (Movie)

Vernon Dursley (Actor)

The History Boys 2006 (Movie)

Hector (Actor)

Venus 2006 (Movie)

Donald (Actor)

The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy 2005 (Movie)

Voice of Jeltz (Actor)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 2004 (Movie)

Uncle Vernon (Actor)

Stage Beauty 2004 (Movie)

Sir Charles Sedley (Actor)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 2002 (Movie)

Uncle Vernon Dursley (Actor)

Christmas Glory, 2000 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 2001 (Movie)

Uncle Vernon Dursley (Actor)

Vatel 2000 (Movie)

Dr Bourdelot (Actor)

Christmas Glory With Kiri Te Kanawa 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Sleepy Hollow 1999 (Movie)

Magistrate Philipse (Actor)

The Canterbury Tales 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Voice

The Day of the Devil 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Funny Bones 1995 (Movie)

Jim Minty (Actor)

Guarding Tess 1994 (Movie)

Frederick (Actor)

Blame It on the Bellboy 1992 (Movie)

Maurice Horton (Actor)

King Ralph 1991 (Movie)

Phipps (Actor)

The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear 1991 (Movie)

Dr Meinheimer (Actor)

Goldeneye 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Casanova 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Withnail and I 1987 (Movie)

Monty (Actor)

Shanghai Surprise 1986 (Movie)

Willie Tuttle (Actor)

Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes 1984 (Movie)

Captain Billings (Actor)

A Private Function 1983 (Movie)

Henry Allardyce (Actor)

Gorky Park 1983 (Movie)

Anton (Actor)

Gandhi 1982 (Movie)

Collins (Actor)

Chariots of Fire 1981 (Movie)

Caius Head Porter (Actor)

Superman II 1981 (Movie)

Terrorist (Actor)

The French Lieutenant's Woman 1981 (Movie)

Sir Tom (Actor)

Breaking Glass 1980 (Movie)

Studio Engineer (Actor)

All Things Bright And Beautiful 1977 (Movie)

Sam Broadbent (Actor)

It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet 1974 (Movie)

Sam Broadbent (Actor)

Bleak House (TV Show)

Actor

Gormenghast (TV Show)

Actor

The Comedy of Errors (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

After a career on stage and screen in his native Britain, where he was renowned as both a Shakespearean clown and a fine dramatic player, Richard Griffiths saw his profile rise across the Atlantic after portraying the lustily gay Uncle Monty in the cult classic "Withnail and I" (1987). Prior to that long-remembered breakout performance, Griffiths was a frequent performer with the Royal Shakespeare Company before he began landing small, but significant roles in award-winning films like "Chariots of Fire" (1981) and "Gandhi" (1982). From there, he was the British husband of Elaine Stritch on "Nobody's Perfect" (ITV, 1980-82) and a cynical lawyer in "Gorky Park" (1983). After "Withnail and I," Griffiths delivered a memorable dual performance in "The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear" (1991) and earned a new generation of fans for his often brief, but unforgettable turn as comic villain Uncle Vernon Dursley in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001). While reprising the role in four of the seven films in the franchise, Griffiths maintained a steady presence on stage and screen as one of Britain's finest comedic characters actors.

Relationships

Heather Gibson

Wife
Married 1980 until his death March 28, 2013

EDUCATION

Royal Northern College of Music

Manchester , England
Attended the Northern School of Music which then merged with the Royal Manchester College of Music in 1973

Stockton & Billingham College

1963

Milestones

2012

Played the Duke of Burgundy in "Henry V" installment of miniseries "The Hollow Crown" (BBC)

2012

Last major stage role, a West End production of Neil Simon's comedy "The Sunshine Boys" opposite Danny DeVito

2011

Portrayed King George II in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," the fourth installment in popular series

2011

Cast in Martin Scorsese’s family adventure "Hugo"

2010

Reprised role of Uncle Vernon for seventh and final installment of the series "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," directed by David Yates

2008

Co-starred with Adam Sandler in "Bedtime Stories"

2007

Reunited with "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe in stage revival of Peter Shaffer's "Equus" at Gielgud Theatre in London; play transferred to Broadway 2008

2007

Reprised role of Uncle Dursley for "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"

2006

Starred opposite Peter O'Toole in "Venus"

2006

Reprised role for film version of "The History Boys"

2006

Portrayed a beloved teacher in Broadway production of "The History Boys"

2004

Again played Uncle Dursley in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"

2004

Starred opposite Claire Danes and Billy Crudup in "Stage Beauty"

2002

Reprised role of Uncle Dursley for "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"

2001

Co-starred in London stage production of "Luther" alongside Rufus Sewell

2001

Cast as the young hero's evil Uncle Dursley in feature adaptation of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"

2000

Portrayed a doctor in "Vatel"

2000

Offered a memorable performance as the corpulent kitchen master in British miniseries "Gormenghast" (BBC)

1999

Played one of the magistrates in "Sleepy Hollow"

1995

Featured in "Funny Bones"

1994

Starred as a mild-mannered policeman who runs a restaurant on BBC series "Pie in the Sky"

1994

Played title role in "The Life of Galileo" at Almeida Theatre in London

1991

Played dual roles of a German scientist and an American Southerner in "The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear"

1988

Cast as a teacher who moves from Bolton to London with his resentful wife and newborn child on British series "A Kind of Living" (ITV)

1987

Delivered memorable performance as the lusty Uncle Monty in "Withnail and I"

1987

Starred as a wine merchant on British comedy series "Ffizz" (ITV)

1986

Co-starred with Madonna and Sean Penn in box office bomb "Shanghai Surprise"

1984

Reprised role of Henry Jay for "Bird of Prey 2"

1984

Portrayed "Henry VIII" at Royal Shakespeare Company

1983

First significant film role, "Gorky Park"

1982

Played a British reporter in "Gandhi"

1982

Played lead role of computer programmer Henry Jay in four-part BBC drama "Bird of Prey"

1982

Perfectly cast as Sir John Falstaff in BBC TV production of "The Merry Wives of Windsor"

1981

Landed minor role in Oscar-winning film "Chariots of Fire"

1980

Played the husband of an American (Elaine Stritch) living in England on ITV comedy "Nobody's Perfect"

1979

Won raves for performances as Lariosik in "The White Guard" on London stage

1977

Offered impressive turn as Bottom in Royal Shakespeare Company production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

1975

Made first film appearance in "It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet"; re-released three years later as "All Things Bright and Beautiful"

1975

Joined Royal Shakespeare Company

1974

Made TV debut in small roles on Granada TV dramas "Crown Court' and "Village Hall"

1969

Was member of BBC Radio Drama repertory company

Bonus Trivia

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Griffiths was born to deaf parents and he learned sign language at an early age to communicate with them. His father was a steelworker and his mother was a retail store bagger.

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Griffiths received an honorary degree from the University of Durham in 1998.

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He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours.

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"That was the dream, you see. I'd though it would take me ten years to get to the Royal Shakespeare Theater, if I was very lucky. It had taken me five. I was home. I was free to do the work. And however small the part was, I was free to make the play my part's play, the play seen from the perspective of one small character in it. I was free, too, to start to make use of all the little things I'd somehow picked up along the way." – Griffiths in Connoisseur, September 1983

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"It was a silent and lonely childhood. My father became a bitter man and my mother was damaged by him spiritually. I was very miserable for many years." – Griffiths quoted in The Observer, Feb. 6, 1994

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