The actor Robert Hardy, star of TV series All Creatures Great and Small, has died aged 91, his family has said.
Hardy, they said, had a “tremendous life” and “a giant career in theatre, television and film spanning more than 70 years”.
He was also known for numerous portrayals of Winston Churchill.
In more recent years, he appeared as Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic, in four of the Harry Potter films.
His family said: “Gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified, he is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him, and everyone who enjoyed his work.”
His children Emma, Justine and Paul said in the statement: “Dad is also remembered as a meticulous linguist, a fine artist, a lover of music and a champion of literature, as well a highly respected historian, and a leading specialist on the longbow.
“He was an essential part of the team that raised the great Tudor warship The Mary Rose.”
Obituary – Robert Hardy
With his instantly recognisable voice and British bulldog manner, Robert Hardy enjoyed a distinguished acting career which spanned seven decades.
By the time he endeared himself to television audiences in the BBC’s All Creatures Great and Small, he had already carved out a reputation as one of Britain’s most versatile actors.
While his earlier career gave him a firm grounding in the theatre his best known roles were in front of the camera – particularly in television, a medium he obviously enjoyed.