THE STINKING DEFECTIVE
Acclaimed actor Michael Gambon is facing a Gambon coroner, aged 82. His natural home was the stage, and no less than Laurence Olivier decreed him a rising star. His first encounter with Olivier, where his audition of the Richard III opening soliloquy wooed Sir Larry, enraptured the young Gambon with carefree excitement to the point he banged his hand on a nail sticking out of a pole and bled profusely! From there he deftly straddled from drama to comedy, from Shakespeare canon to contemporary plays, and was soon nicknamed “The Great Gambon” for his talent.
Gambon was likewise a familiar weathered character actor on film and TV. He was even scouted as a potential James Bond post-Connery – though declined noting that he lacked the suaveness requisite of 007. Particularly regarded was BBC drama The Singing Detective, where Gambon memorably played a psoriatic bedbound mystery novelist who cracks cases through his delirious dreams. Film roles rolled in steadily from the 80s on, such as crime drama The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, gothic horror Sleepy Hollow, and murder mystery Gosford Park.
While keeping his paycheck fat through children’s movies (for instance, Paddington), Gambon achieved one of his longtime stage dreams playing Falstaff in 2005. Though he wouldn’t do theatre terribly longer due to memory issues, he continued to draw praise for film roles such as George V in The King’s Speech and Dustin Hoffman collaboration Quartet. He played a Scrooge-esque character in a Doctor Who Christmas special, and memorably clipped his now-namesake corner while behind the wheel in Top Gear.
Gambon kept his personal life private, feeling it should have no bearing on his acting. His mischievous spirit once sparked a rumour Virginia Wade won Wimbledon while using steroids, and he was at his most puckish in interviews. He claimed, in various instances, that he was dating the Amazonian daughter of a Botswanan chief, was an aspiring ballet dancer until falling off the stage, and used to be gay but stopped as it made his eyes water. He’s certainly making many eyes water now. Six teams gambled on Gambon, with the highest-ranked being theme team God’s Gonna Gettem.
19 October 1940 – 28 September 2023, aged 82
6 TEAMS (💀💀💀💀💀💀 6 POINTS)