Harry Potter actor Richard Griffiths dies

Updated 30 March 2013

Harry Potter actor Richard Griffiths dies

LONDON: British actor Richard Griffiths, best known for his roles as Harry Potter’s uncle and in the cult film “Withnail & I,” has died aged 65, his agent said yesterday.
The portly star of stage and screen, one of Britain’s best loved character actors, died on Thursday from complications following heart surgery, Simon Beresford said.
Griffiths will be forever remembered as Uncle Monty by fans of cult classic Withnail & I, although he reached his biggest audience as Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films.
Daniel Radcliffe, who played the boy wizard in the blockbuster Potter series, led the tributes to a man he said had offered him “encouragement, tutelage and humor.”
The two men worked together on the Harry Potter films and later in the play Equus.
“Any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence. I am proud to say I knew him,” Radcliffe said in a statement.
Griffiths was born in 1947 in Yorkshire in northern England, the son of a steelworker. His parents were both deaf so he had to learn sign language at an early age.
He left school at 15 and worked as a porter for a while, but his boss persuaded him to go back to education, to study drama.
He later joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, excelling in playing the clown.
Early film credits included Chariots of Fire, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, and Gandhi, before he landed a starring role in the 1987 comedy Withnail & I.
Nicholas Hytner, the director of London’s National Theatre who directed Griffiths in one of his biggest stage hits, The History Boys, said he was “the life of every party.”
He recalled anecdotes that “would go on for hours, apparently without destination, constantly side-splitting. The only way to stop them was to tell him you were walking away.”
Griffiths won a Tony and an Olivier award for his role as an inspirational teacher in The History Boys, and was nominated for a Bafta for best actor for the film version.

Saudi official welcome Lionel Messi ahead of Brazil-Argentina friendly in Riyadh

Updated 21 min 20 sec ago

Saudi official welcome Lionel Messi ahead of Brazil-Argentina friendly in Riyadh

  • They met on the sidelines of the international friendly match between Brazil and Argentina

Saudi Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority Turki Al-Sheikh met with football legend Lionel Messi on the sidelines of the international friendly match between Brazil and Argentina which will be held on Friday at King Saud University Stadium.

“I am happy to be back here,” Al-Sheikh said, welcoming the Barca forward in Riyadh.

“A lot of things have changed in Saudi Arabia in the last five years since your last visit. Prince Mohammed bin Salman changed a lot and the whole world is coming to us. He is building a new Saudi,” Al-Sheikh added.

This is Messi’s second visit to Riyadh in five years. The striker will return again on Jan. 8, where his team Barcelona will participate in the Spanish Super Cup finals in Jeddah against Valencia in the semi-finals of the tournament.

The Saudi official touched on Messi’s football career. The 32-year-old’s Barcelona club contract ends in 2021.

“I hope when your contract ends, we will see you play at (UD) Almeria,” Al-Sheikh said referring to the Spanish he owns.

Al-Sheikh also talked about the Saudi national football team, saying that he hoped the team will return to its former glory days when the Kingdom won AFC Asian Cup titles in the 80s and 90s.