The late actor Richard Harris, 72, currently on screens as Professor Albus Dumbledore in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” was remembered this weekend at a mass in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Limerick, Ireland, his place of birth.
Family members and friends paid their last respects at the open service, the BBC reports. ITV said the gathering attracted hundreds of people.
Harris, who first rose to fame in America in the 1967 screen musical “Camelot,” in which he played King Arthur to Vanessa Redgrave’s Guenevere, died Oct. 26 in a London hospital shortly after it was announced that he was suffering with Hodgkin’s Disease.
He had hoped to be in the third Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” which starts shooting in March. No replacement has been named yet.
Paying tribute, British film director Michael Winner (“Deathwish”) told those gathered in the church: “The lights have dimmed a lot with his passing. He was my neighbor for 10 years and he was the most wonderful, warm character. He was not only a great friend and a very wonderful person to be with, he was one of our greatest actors and had this great charisma of the star, which extended to his private life.”
In addition to his acting, Harris was known as something of a wild man with an amazing capacity for alcohol. He was a frequent guest on the “Tonight” show back when Johnny Carson was the host.
“He was the archetypal star, he was like an old Hollywood legend,” said Winner.