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Robert Hardy, Cornelius Fudge in ‘Harry Potter' movies, dies at 91

Robert Hardy, Cornelius Fudge in ‘Harry Potter' movies, dies at 91
Robert Hardy speaks in London on Oct. 29, 2015. (Nick Ansell / Press Association)

Robert Hardy, a veteran British stage and screen actor who played Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge in the "Harry Potter" movies, has died. He was 91.

His family said Hardy died Thursday.

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Born in 1925, Hardy began his career in Shakespearean roles onstage in Stratford-upon-Avon in the years after World War II.

He played avuncular veterinarian Siegfried Farnon in the TV drama "All Creatures Great and Small" between 1978 and 1990, and portrayed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill onscreen half a dozen times.

In a statement Thursday, Hardy's family said he was also "a meticulous linguist, a fine artist, a lover of music and a champion of literature, as well a highly respected historian, and a leading specialist on the longbow."

They said he was also part of the team that raised Tudor warship the Mary Rose, which sank off England's south coast in 1545.

"Gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified, he is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him, and everyone who enjoyed his work," the family said.

Hardy is survived by his children Paul, Justine and Emma.

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