Actor Richard Griffiths, best known for portraying Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films and Uncle Monty in Withnail and I, died today at the age of 65.

The actor passed away from complications, following heart surgery. Griffiths, a Tony award winner, was not just acclaimed for his work in film – he was also a proficient stage actor. His best known and most acclaimed stage portrayal was that of the charismatic teacher Hector in Alan Bennett's The History Boys. The actor was also awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) medal by Queen Elizabeth in 2008.  As the world of show business flocks to mourn the loss, one of the first people to express their grief was Griffiths’ friend and colleague, Daniel Radcliffe, who worked with him on Harry Potter, as well as the stage production Equus. "Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career. I was proud to know him,” he said. "Any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence."

But Griffiths’ biggest success by far was as the predatory uncle Monty in the cult classic Withnail and I. In a message to his co-star on Twitter, the actor Richard E. Grant said: "My beloved Uncle Monty Richard Griffiths died last night. Chin-Chin my dear friend."

Richard Griffiths, Hugo Premiere
Richard Griffiths will be missed by his friends, fans and peers.

 His agent Simon Beresford, described Richard Griffiths as a “remarkable man” and continued: "On stage he allowed us to share in our own humanity and constantly question our differences. Richard gave acting a good name. He was a remarkable man and one of our greatest and best-loved actors. He will be greatly missed."