Harry Potter actor Richard Griffiths dies

London, Mar 29 (EFE).- Veteran British actor Richard Griffiths, who played a key character in the popular saga about the young magician Harry Potter, died of complications following a coronary operation, the BBC said Friday. He was 65.

Griffiths died Thursay at University Hospital in Coventry, the network said.

Throughout his career, Griffiths played many roles in movies and on television, but was equally at home on the stage, where he won Tony and Laurence Olivier Awards.

He is best known, however, for his roles as Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films and as Uncle Monty in "Withnail & I."

In 2008 the veteran actor was decorated with the Order of the British Empire, or OBE, on the list of honors that Queen Elizabeth II awards annually, for his artistic contributions.

Actor Daniel Radcliffe, who played Potter, paid tribute to Griffiths Friday for his "encouragement, tutelage and humor" that made working with him "a joy."

Radcliffe acted with Griffiths both in Harry Potter films and in his theatrical debut in "Equus," two of the "most important moments" of the young actor's career.