Michael Gambon has revealed he is retiring from the stage due to recent and debilitating memory loss.
"It's a horrible thing to admit, but I can't do it," the Harry Potter actor, 74, said in a new interview. "It breaks my heart. It's when the script's in front of me and it takes forever to learn. It's frightening."
The British star added he had been struggling to memorize his lines during a recent audition for a new play debuting on London's West End.
Michael with 'Harry Potter' costars Robert Pattinson (left) and Daniel Radcliffe (right). (Photo Credit: Getty R/R)
"There was a girl in the wings and I had to plug in my ear so she could read me the lines," he said. "After about an hour I thought, 'This can't work. You can't be in theater, free on the stage, shouting and screaming and running around with someone reading to you.'"
The four-time BAFTA winner's successful career in showbiz has spanned more than 50 years and has included work in theater, television and film. He is most recognized for portraying Professor Albus Dumbledore in the popular 'Harry Potter' series from 2004 - 2011.
He is also well known for his roles as Philip Marlow in the BBC television show 'The Singing Detective' and as Jules Maigret in the 1990s ITV series 'Maigret.'
Michael spoke to 'The Sunday Times.'