Devan Coggan
August 03, 2017 AT 11:50 AM EDT

Robert Hardy, the British actor known for his role in All Creatures Great and Small and the Harry Potter films, has died at the age of 91.

His family confirmed the news in a statement to the BBC, adding that Hardy had “a tremendous life” and ” a giant career in theater, television, and film spanning more than 70 years.”

Hardy was perhaps best known for his role as the veterinarian Siegfried Harnon on the British TV series All Creatures Great and Small and for playing Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic, in multiple Harry Potter films.

Born in Cheltenham, England, in 1925, Hardy began acting on stage before rising to prominence in the late 1970s with All Creatures Great and Small. He is also known for being one of the few actors to play Winston Churchill on multiple occasions, most famously in the 1981 miniseries Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling paid tribute to Hardy on Twitter, writing that he “was such a talented actor and everybody who worked with him on Potter loved him.”

He is survived by his children, Emma, Justine, and Paul, who paid tribute to their father in a statement to the BBC: “Gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified, he is celebrated by all who knew him and loved him, and everyone who enjoyed his work.”

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