The My Family actor who would have played Harry Potter before retiring

that of my family Gabriel Thompson has had an acting career that many aspiring actors would be envious of.

However, the actor, originally from Putney, decided to turn his back on the stage and the screen in favor of a quieter life.

His 20-year long career began with a television debut in a Frosties commercial at the age of five, he said he “would rather forget” before making his way into his first dramatic role in The Bible: Joseph at the age of nine.

READ MORE: My Family: What Happened to the Cast & How Different They Are All Now

The Painted lady The miniseries was Gabriel’s next project which saw him play young Pip in the 1999 BBC adaptation Great expectations – with The pretty lady casting director selects him for the role.

That same year, Gabriel made his big screen debut as the sensitive puppet Pinocchio in Pinocchio’s new adventure.

Gabriel finally landed the role that would make him a staple on British television a year later – landing the role of Michael Harper in the sardonic comedy classic My family.

He will play Michael for 11 years, being the only one of Harper’s children to feature in every episode.

Gabriel as Michael Harper with onscreen brother Kris Marshal who played Nick

Gabriel’s know-it-all with glasses My family character and age appropriateness meant that many people considered him a candidate for the role of Harry Potter – but that was not the case, with Daniel Radcliffe claiming the role.

Its screen My family Mother Zoe Wanamaker ended up playing Madam Hooch in the first movie.

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Gabriel saw the action on the big screen, starring a Soviet spy in the Stalingrad-based epic Enemy at the Gates alongside Jude Law, Rachel Weisz and Ed Harris in 2001.

During his time on My family Gabriel also toured with the British Shakespeare Company play Lysander in the romantic comedy One summer nightDream and Claudio in A lot of noise for nothing.

After a flurry of films including British horror 1 p.m. and The lost choices with a handful of stage performances, Gabriel announced his retirement from acting on his Facebook page in 2015.

He is said to have attended King’s College London, where he is said to have obtained a three-year philosophy degree with the intention of becoming a human rights lawyer.

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