Most people remember Richard Griffiths as Uncle Vernon from the Harry Potter series. What most people don’t realize is that the man has had a long and storied career as an actor, from television to cinema to the stage. With his tragic and early death recent in our memories, let’s reflect on a few of his greatest moments, imprinted on celluloid for generations to experience for the first time.
Again, this is a personal list of moments that I personally remember. Everyone has different tastes, so please, if you want to point out other great scenes in a fairly prolific career, please mention them in the comments section. I guarantee you I will be missing quite a lot.
5. Chariots of Fire
Most people overlook that Griffiths was in this movie at all, but he had a very small, brief role in the film. To be quite honest, this movie bored me out of my mind. Even as a former runner, I felt I’d rather watch chalk melt under a summer sun. That is, of course, until Griffiths appears as a clerk, giving the main character a bit of a hard time. For those of us familiar with the Harry Potter series, it might take a second to realize that Uncle Vernon is causing the title character some issues over his religion, but, alas, there he is.
It was really the only scene I remember from this movie. Really, I know it won Oscars, but his brief cameo was the best part, if only for the retroactive recognition. Of course, in most cases, this is part of Griffiths’ appeal. You never knew what movie he’d pop into randomly, no matter how small of a role he may have, and you’d just sort of smile. He had that sort of appeal about him. Didn’t matter what movie he was in, what role he had. You always would see him, stop the film, and shout, “Hey! It’s that guy!” And you would smile, knowing you were in for a treat.
This article was first posted on March 31, 2013