Richard played Professor Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films. He was 72 and had been ill with cancer.
Potter director Chris Columbus had this to say:
"We're all still in an incredible amount of shock. We knew Richard was sick but he was such a fighter that somehow deep down we all expected him to make it and get through it and be in the third Harry Potter film.
"So it's a complete shock because we've all worked so closely together. It's like losing a member of your family."