Harry Potter actor Jimmy Gardner, who was brought up in Marlborough, died on Monday at the age of 85.

Mr Gardner appeared in many stage, movie and TV productions in a career that spanned more than 50 years, but one of his last roles was as Ernie Prang, the driver of the double decker Knight Bus, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

His varied roles included parts in Dr Who, the Adventures of Young Indiana Jones and Finding Neverland.

He was the son of Ted Gardner, a former leading jockey who ran a bookmakers in London Road, Marlborough initially and later in Silverless Street.

Mr Gardner’s brother Vic, who lives at Ogbourne St George, said he did try to follow his father in to horse riding. “He didn’t like it very much and he always said as a child that he wanted to be an actor and appear on stage,” said the brother.

Before the Second World War broke out, Mr Gardner worked for Warner Bros and then Gainsborough Studios as a props man and one of his jobs was passing a ready-lit cigarette to actress Margaret Lockwood before the cameras rolled and working alongside legendary actors including James Mason and Michael Redgrave.

After the war he went into repertory in Devon. In an interview when he was 73 he recalled: “We had to learn two or three plays a week that we now have weeks to learn, perform it, set up for the next one on Sunday and start again on Monday.”

See also his obituary.