AN ACTOR whose magical life took him from the Berlin airlift to playing Dumbledore’s double has died aged 87.

Harry Robinson, of Headington, stood in for the Hogwarts headmaster in the second film of the franchise and went on to appear in every subsequent film.

When Richard Harris, who originally played Dumbledore, passed away in 2002, Mr Robinson was given a role as a top wizard and could always be seen at the top table next to Warwick Davis.

His vibrant acting career saw him take further roles in a range of films and television programmes including Nanny McPhee and Inspector Morse.

Mr Robinson, who served in the RAF during the Berlin airlift, was also a judge for Oxford in Bloom and Britain in Bloom.

His passion for horticulture led him to show at the RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Palace Flower Shows, winning a number of awards for his hanging baskets and window boxes.

Mr Robinson, who was also a lover of cricket and an avid reader, attended the scene of the Great Train Robbery as an ambulance driver and looked after the injured train driver.

He was also a big fan of TV quiz shows, appearing in many himself, including Fifteen to One and Lucky Ladders.

Mr Robinson was born in Leicester on May 29, 1930, to parents Henry and Euphemia.

He grew up in the city and was schooled there before moving to London for work.

After a brief period in the capital, Mr Robinson joined the RAF and served in the Berlin airlift.

During the multinational occupation of post–war Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies’ access to the sectors of Berlin under Western control.

In response, the Allies organized the Berlin airlift to carry supplies to the people of West Berlin, an impressive feat for such a large city.

After returning from the war he began acting professionally and also took a number of odd jobs.

He was working as an ambulance driver in 1963 and was one of those to respond following the Great Train Robbery, in which a group of men stole £2.6m from a Royal Mail train heading from Glasgow to London in the early hours of August 8 at Bridego Railway Bridge, near Aylesbury.

Mr Robinson was among those who tended to driver Jack Mills, who was left seriously injured after being savagely attacked with an iron bar during the robbery.

He would later take up a position at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford as a postmaster.

It was in this role he would meet his wife, Sheilah, who worked as a nurse in the children’s unit for nearly 30 years.

The couple – who shared a love of cricket (he supported Leicester and she supported Northampton) – tied the knot at Marston United Reform Church on May 12, 1984.

The pair lived together in London Road, Headington.

Acting was something Mr Robinson did for much of his life and it continued into his later years.

In addition to his time working on the Harry Potter films, he appeared in two Jane Austen adaptations – Pride and Prejudice and Emma – as well as Nanny Mcphee.

Sheilah would often take on extra work to join him on set.

His work on Inspector Morse led to long-lasting friendships with the cast, including Kevin Whately and John Thaw.

Mr Robinson had three children from a previous relationship - Gary, Harry Cathy - and an adopted daughter Sally, all of whom survive him.

He is also survived by his grandchildren and Sheilah, his wife of 34 years.

Mr Robinson died at Triangle Care Home in Wheatley last Monday.

His funeral will be held at Oxford Crematorium at midday on Monday, May 14.

This will be followed by a thanksgiving service for Mr Robinson at 1pm in St Andrew’s Church, Old Headington.