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    Here's Who Almost Played Dumbledore In "Harry Potter" After Richard Harris Died

    "He felt it was intrusive from an acting point of view."

    The Harry Potter franchise almost had a completely different actor take on the iconic role of Albus Dumbledore!

    Dumbledore stands up and speaks to students
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    Most fans know that back in 2002, Richard Harris, the original headmaster of Hogwarts, passed away suddenly, leaving filmmakers needing to find a replacement.

    Dumbledore, played by Richard, stands with other Hogwarts teachers
    Warner Bros / ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

    While they eventually cast Michael Gambon in the part, there was one other actor who was also seriously considered.

    Dumbledore looks into the camera with Harry in the background
    Warner Bros / ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

    According to Chris Columbus, the director of the first two films, the actor they wanted actually turned down the part.

    The cast poses with Chris at an event
    Evan Agostini / Getty Images

    "It was obviously a crushing blow when Richard Harris passed away. I remember an interesting thing because [Prisoner of Azkaban director] Alfonso [Cuaron] and I met with Peter O'Toole about playing Dumbledore," Chris told The Wrap.

    Peter wears a tuxedo and smiles at an event
    Gabriel Bouys / AFP via Getty Images

    He continued, "He was close except Richard was his best friend and he felt it was intrusive from an acting point of view, so he decided not to do it."

    Peter and Richard laugh while at an event together
    Yui Mok - Pa Images / PA Images via Getty Images

    Once Peter passed on the role, the directors turned to Michael, who portrayed Dumbledore until the series wrapped in 2011.

    Dumbledore looks like he's about to cast a spell
    Warner Bros / ©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection