British star and Harry Potter actor David Ryall died on Christmas Day at the age of 79.Though audiences in the United States might best remember Ryall as playing the character of the wizard, Elphias Doge, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, from 2010, the actor had a career spanning five decades, beginning in the late 1960s, and played many memorable roles. According to the BBC News, David is survived by Jonathan Ryall, his son, as well as by two daughters, Charlie Ryall and Imogen Ryall.
While David’s daughter, Charlie, stated in a Twitter post that she loves Harry Potter, she also wrote that she would like people to remember the other roles he played during his long career, writing in the post that “there’s so much more.”
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the penultimate film in the franchise, David Ryall’s character, Elphias Doge, is a member of both the Order of the Phoenix and the Ministry of Magic. He is also one of Albus Dumbledore’s close friends. Ryall was not the first person to play the wizard Elphias Doge; in the fifth movie of the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Peter Cartwright played Doge.
Other than his role playing Elphias Doge, David Ryall is perhaps best known for his acting in British television shows like the comedy Outnumbered as Frank, a grandfather who has dementia, the medical drama Casualty as well as a spin-off from it, Holby City, and the cop series The Bill. He also acted in On the Line and The River and in the British adaptation of House of Cards (not the Netflix one).
Besides these roles, David Ryall also played former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill three different times. Once was on the French show De Gaulle, while the other two times were in 2002, when Ryall played Churchill in the movie Two Men Went to War and in the movie made for TV, Bertie and Elizabeth.
In 1980, David Ryall starred in the movie The Elephant Man, along with actress Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins. Then, in 1994, he appeared in the movie Black Beauty, with Sean Bean and Alan Cumming. Also, Ryall starred alongside Jackie Chan in the 2004 flick, Around the World in 80 Days, and with actor and comedian bill Murray in the 2008 movie, City of Ember. In 2013, he starred in Mark Gatiss’ The Tractate Middoth, a made-for-TV movie, and he appeared with Gatiss in the Gatiss-produced Crooked House. Most recently, Ryall starred with Dylan McDermott, Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas in the movie Autómata.
David Ryall began his distinguished acting career on stage during the 1960s and 1970s as a member of Sir Laurence Olivier’s company. Besides acting in various Shakespeare plays, Ryall also starred in “Animal Farm,” “The Beggar’s Opera,” “Guys and Dolls,” and the Tom Stoppard play “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.”
David Ryall, who portrayed the wizard Elphias Doge in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, died on December 15, 2014, Christmas Day. He had a long and distinguished career, one that was filled with memorable roles. According to the BBC, the cause of his death has not yet been released. His passing marks the end of an era, and he will be missed by his fans, friends, and family members.
Written By Douglas Cobb