Actors in Harry Potter films are some of the most popular actors worldwide. Not only did the franchise propel its trio of child leads Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson into superstardom, but any actor became more recognisable any show with a Harry Potter credit under their belt. Whether you’re a Gryffindor or Slytherin, see your favourite Harry Potter stars from over the years take to the stage.
Playing the titular role in the Harry Potter film series for a decade, Daniel Radcliffe gained a legion of global fans after starring in all eight films. His film performances are so iconic, it’s hard to see Daniel Radcliffe as any character except Harry Potter. However, he’s been in a number of West End productions, including Endgame at the Old Vic alongside Alan Cumming. He’s previously been in The Cripple of Inishmaan and even stripped off in Equus.
Zoe Wanamaker zoomed in on her broomstick into the Harry Potter films as Madam Hooch, the flying teacher. Her father, Sam Wanamaker, was instrumental in the renovation of Shakespeare’s Globe in the 1990s. Wanamaker’s recent credits include Constellations at the Vaudeville Theatre, opposite Peter Capaldi, and The Birthday Party at the Harold Pinter Theatre.
Best known in the Harry Potter film series for starring as Dolores Umbridge, Imelda Staunton is a four-time Olivier Award-winning actress. Across her glittering career, she’s starred in Into The Woods, Sweeney Todd and Gypsy. She was due to play Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly! at the Adelphi Theatre, but the production has been suspended.
Michael Gambon took over the role of Professor Dumbledore from the third film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The multi-award-winning actor’s recent West End credits include All That Fall at the Arts Theatre in 2012, and Krapp's Last Tape at the Duke of York’s Theatre in 2010.
You may know Maggie Smith as transfiguration whiz, Professor McGonagall. On stage, she was a founding member of the National Theatre company, so it’s fair to say that Maggie Smith is a key part of the fabric of British theatre. In recent years, she’s starred in A German Life at the Bridge Theatre and The Lady from Dubuque at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Playing “You-Know Who” Lord Voldemort in the films, Ralph Fiennes’ terrifying performance scared a generation witless. Thankfully, his stage performances are anything but worrisome, they’re award-winning. He’ll soon be in Four Quartets at the Harold Pinter Theatre for one month. He has also been the title king in Richard III at the Almeida Theatre.
Kenneth Branagh plays incompetent Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Gilderoy Lockhart in the second Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Unlike his Harry Potter persona though, he’s a well-versed stage actor and director. During his career, he's produced a season at the Garrick Theatre including The Entertainer and Romeo and Juliet starring Richard Madden and Lily James.
In the Harry Potter films, Fiona Shaw plays Harry's adopted mother, Petunia Dursley. She’s recently starred in Killing Eve and Fleabag, but Fiona Shaw's career includes award-winning turns on stage. In recent decades, she's starred in Hedda Gabler, Machinal and London Assurance.
Alfred Enoch played Harry Potter’s Gryffindor friend, Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter films. Since then, he’s starred in the television series How To Get Away With Murder and Red at the Wyndham’s Theatre. He’s also played Romeo in a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s Globe.
Best known for her performance as Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films, Evanna Lynch was last on stage in Games for Lovers at The Vaults. She’s previously performed in Disco Pigs at Trafalgar Studios and off-Broadway.
Photo credit: Imelda Staunton in Follies, Ralph Fiennes in Four Quartets and Daniel Radcliffe in Endgame (Photo courtesy of Follies, Four Quartets and Endgame)