Since July 31 is J.K. Rowling’s birthday, she decided to make that Harry Potter’s birthday as well, but in a neat coincidence, July 31 also happens to be the same birthday of the man who played his uncle. Richard Griffiths is a British actor who has had a very long and successful career on stage and screen. After starting out his career in theater, Griffiths finally started to work in film and television in the mid-1970s and has had roles in such prominent films as Chariots of Fire, Gandhi, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Gorky Park, Withnail and I, Sleepy Hollow, Venus, Hugo and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. My first exposure to the guy was his role as the wheelchair-bound Dr. Meinheimer in The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear, and this scene never fails to leave me in stitches.
Griffiths also played the lead role in the British detective series, Pie in the Sky, and garnered many awards for his work in the stage play, The History Boys, including a Tony Award. And the guy also doesn’t take too kindly to theater patrons who let their cell phone ring during his performances! But of course, he will probably be best remembered by this generation for playing the mean Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films. Richard Griffiths turns 65 today.