Harry Potter marked a generation, and with many fans who grew up watching the film series or reading the books, the cast and characters have left a firm mark on millions of people.
Sadly, even before the series came to an end, fans were faced with the loss of the cast, before being hit with the loss of the characters as well.
Some teachers have fought devastating battles behind the scenes, while others have been able to put their careers at the forefront of their goal.
One actress who truly faced a battle was Dame Maggie Smith, who was undergoing chemotherapy treatments while filming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
To celebrate Maggie, who turns 87 today, The Daily Star looked at the lives and tragedies of some of the teachers at Hogwarts.
Richard Harris – Professor Dumbledore
Richard Harris played Albus Dumbledore in the first and second Harry Potter films before his untimely death at the age of 72 on October 25, 2002.
The actor fell ill in August after filming the second film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and went to the hospital with a lung infection.
Harris, who went bankrupt twice before arriving on the set, learned in the early 1980s that he only had 18 months to live if he didn’t stop drinking.
He continued to live for years after this and became ill with Hodgkin’s disease and received chemotherapy. He started shooting the third Harry Potter film before his untimely death.
Michael Gambon – Professor Dumbledore
Michael Gambon, who succeeded Richard Harris as Dumbledore after his untimely death, has stepped down from long acting roles due to “memory loss”.
The actor previously revealed that several tests suggested he didn’t have Alzheimer’s disease, but his memory made him forget his lines.
He said that in one performance someone must have given him his lines from the wings, which he took as a sign to back out of anything that was too long.
Alan Rickman – Professor Snape
Alan Rickman was famous for many outstanding roles including Die Hard, Love Actually, and Robin Hood, but many Harry Potter fans will immediately recognize him as Severus Snape.
The actor was notoriously one of the only other people – aside from JK Rowling herself – who knew the truth behind his character after the star allegedly said he wanted to step down from the role.
The fans therefore had the chance to see him throughout the series until the death of his character Snape in the middle of the final.
Five years after the release of the last film, Alan Rickman died at age 69 from pancreatic cancer that marked fans for many years.
Fans around the world, both of Harry Potter and his long reel of films, have been completely devastated after the tragic loss.
Maggie Smith – Professor McGonagall
Dame Maggie Smith has had a long and impressive career in showbiz with stints in Harry Potter, Downton Abbey, and Sister Act, to name a few.
She played Professor McGonagall in all of the Harry Potter films, but her stint on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was perhaps the toughest.
The actress herself had breast cancer at the time and was undergoing chemotherapy after finding a lump in her breast.
Speaking to The Times, she previously said that during filming she was bald and had “no problem putting on the wig.”
However, she said she plans to “shift” the final film after saying the past few years seem like a “cancellation” to her, but is slowly getting her energy back.
Emma Thompson – Professor Trelawney
Emma Thompson has known grief over her ex-husband Kenneth Branagh (Professor Lockhart) ‘s affair with Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange).
She previously told The Telegraph when speaking about Love Actually: “My heart was very badly broken by Ken. So I knew what it was like to find the necklace that wasn’t meant for me. wasn’t exactly that, but we’ve all been there. ”
However, she has now moved on with her beau Greg Wise and the duo have been married since 2003.
She has been supportive of her husband throughout his time on Strictly – and has also proven to be a huge Adele fan during An Audience With.
Robbie Coltrane – Hagrid
Robbie Coltrane landed his most famous role as Hagrid in Harry Potter, but since then he has always had a number of jobs, including a stint in National Treasure and Ocean’s Twelve.
He has also spoken to Radio Times in recent years following JK Rowling’s reaction to criticism of his tweets.
Robbie said: “I don’t think what she said was really offensive. I don’t know why, but there is a whole generation of people on Twitter waiting to be offended. They wouldn’t have the war, isn’t it? ”
He didn’t add another comment as he didn’t want to get involved because of “all the hate posts”.
David Thewlis – Professor Lupine
David Thewlis married his partner Hermine in a secret ceremony earlier this year after keeping their love life pretty low-key, which is how the actor likes to live his life these days.
The actor has a fairly relaxed exterior and doesn’t often surround himself with controversy. Rather, he focuses on his impressive acting career.
While many Harry Potter fans will know him as Professor Lupine, a member of the Werewolf, and the Order of the Phoenix, many others will know him from one of his other recognizable roles.
He has appeared in The Boy in Striped Pajamas, An Inspector Calls, Legend, and The Theory of Everything, to name a few.
Imelda Staunton – Professor Umbridge
Imelda Staunton mastered the art of being looked down upon as a character but irreversibly loved as an actress.
She’s had incredible roles over the years, and her time as Professor Umbridge was undoubtedly impressive – but that’s not the extent of her abilities.
Imelda has also taken on roles in The Crown as Queen Elizabeth and Alice in Wonderland. She also appeared in Downton Abbey alongside her Harry Potter co-star Maggie Smith.
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, is set to hit UK television screens on January 1, 2022.
Sadly, not all stars will be able to make it happen, but Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid, is expected to join the cast to look back on the many years he spent on set.
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