The actor worked from the late fifties until the present year, beginning as a classical actor. He worked extensively in Stratford-upon-Avon at the RSC, where he performed in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry V and Twelfth Night. In 1959 he appeared opposite Laurence Olivier in Coriolanus, directed by Peter Hall. He starred in the BBC's TV production of Twelfth Night in 1980 and starred in TV series The Troubleshooters from the mid-60s.
Hardy performed in the Harry Potter films as the Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge. He was due to play Winston Churchill opposite Helen Mirren in 2013 in The Audience but was forced to withdraw in previews due to cracked ribs. He was replaced by Edward Fox.
Hardy won a BAFTAfor his role as Churchill in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years and portrayed the Prime Minister seven times over his career, first playing him in the musical Winnie at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 1988. Read Michael Coveney on Hardy's Churchills here.
He starred as Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small between 1978 and 1990.
Hardy was born in 1925 and went to Oxford to read English where he met Richard Burton. In a statement, Hardy's family said the actor had a 'tremendous' life.
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