[source: Harry Potter Wikia]

Robert Hardy, who played Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter films, and who also starred in All Creatures Great and Small has died at the age of 91, his family has announced.

His family said: “It is with great sadness that the family of Robert Hardy CBE today announced his death, following a tremendous life: a giant career in theatre, television and film spanning more than 70 years.”

Mr Hardy was also known for playing Siegfried Farnon in the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small.

Robert Hardy (left) played Siegfried Farnon in the BBC show All Creatures Great and Small [source: Memorable TV]
Hardy was born in 1932 and after obtaining a degree in English at Oxford University (though his study was interrupted by service in the Royal Air Force), he began his career as a classical actor in 1959.

For the early part of his career, Hardy had roles in various Shakespeare productions both on stage and for the BBC.

He continued to gain critical acclaim for roles in films such as Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years in 1981, a character he played on more than one occasion, as well as playing President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the BBC serialised drama Bertie and Elizabeth.

To newer audiences, he is perhaps best known for playing the Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge in the Harry Potter films.

[source: Pottermore]
A statement shared by his children Emma, Justine and Paul on Thursday (August 3) read: “Dad is also remembered as a meticulous linguist, a fine artist, a lover of music and a champion of literature, as well as 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.

“Gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified, he is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him, and everyone who enjoyed his work.”

The statement also described Hardy’s life as ‘tremendous’ and added: “We are immensely grateful to the team at Denville Hall for the tender care they gave during his last weeks.”

For decades, he was a familiar household name and face, and was nominated for a BAFTA for his work on Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years, and was also awarded a CBE for his services to acting in 1981.