Michael Gambon, one of the greats of British theatre has died. An illustrious six decade career firmly founded on years with Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre, allowed him to branch out in TV and films – Maigret, The Singing Detective, Dad’s Army, The King’s Speech and Gosford Park until he landed the role of Dumbledore in six of the Harry Potter films.
He was born 19 on October 1940, no birth time, in Dublin into a working class family, which moved to England when he was six. He left school at 15, became an apprentice toolmaker, then a qualified engineering technician. Aged 24, he wrote a letter to the Gate Theatre in Dublin outlining an imaginary theatre career and was taken on.
He was a Sun Libra in a mischievous, oddball inconjunct to Uranus which was in turn in a creative trine to Neptune. He had the grounded Saturn Jupiter conjunction in Taurus trine his Venus in Virgo. His Mars in Libra conjunct his North Node was in a determined sextile to Pluto conjunct his Chiron. His Uranus was further emphasized being opposition his Mercury in Scorpio. He would definitely stand out from the crowd.
He did have a wonderful – and well-trained – stage voice which maybe his Neptune sitting on his Mercury/Pluto midpoint helped.
His actor’s 15th harmonic was well aspected.
I once saw him in Checkhov’s The Cherry Orchard and he was superb and memorable. His Maigret was also a tour de force.
I wondered what had motivated him to make such a bold and dramatic switch out of engineering into the theatre. When he was 24 in 1964 tr Uranus Pluto in Virgo were conjunct his Venus and trine his Saturn Jupiter conjunction – arguably making him aware that his day job might fulfil his Saturn in Taurus but did nothing for his Jupiter – so ideals and dreams won the day as well as luck.