David Ryall who had died at the age of 79, played the grandfather in the hit BBC comedy Outnumbered
David Ryall who had died at the age of 79, played the grandfather in the hit BBC comedy Outnumbered BBC

Distinguished British actor David Ryall who played Elphias Doge in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film, has died at the age of 79. He passed away on Christmas Day.

The veteran actor had a five-decade career across film, TV and theatre, appearing in David Lynch's The Elephant Man movie, and on television in The Village, Around the World in 80 Days, Midsomer Murders and Outnumbered.

Mark Gatiss, who starred in comedy The League of Gentlemen and co-created the Sherlock series, said: "The great David Ryall left us on Christmas Day. A twinkling, brilliant, wonderful actor I was privileged to call a friend. RIP."

He directed Ryall in the TV film The Tractate Middoth in 2013.

TV writer David Brown said: "RIP David Ryall – one of the best Inspector Morse baddies. Derek Whittaker – driving test psycho who tried to knife Morse."

Ryall is survived by his son, music manager Jonathan Ryall, and two daughters, singer Imogen Ryall and actress Charlie Ryall.

David Ryall's daughter Charlie requested that his talents as an actor extended further than just his Harry Potter role as Elphias Doge, friend of Hogwarts' headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

She wrote on Twitter: "Please take a moment to remember his huge five-decade-spanning career outside of the more well-known TV and film. Not just Harry Potter.

"Not that I don't love Harry Potter. I do, I do. But there's so much more."