After a career on stage and screen in his native Britain, where he was renowned as both a Shakespearean clown and a fine dramatic player, Richard Griffiths saw his profile rise across the Atlantic after portraying the lusty and life-loving Uncle Monty in the cult classic "Withnail and I" (1987). Prior to that long-remembered breakout performance, Griffiths was a frequent performer with the Royal Shakespeare Company before he began landing small, but significant roles in award-winning films like "Chariots of Fire" (1981) and "Gandhi" (1982). From there, he was the British husband of Elaine Stritch on "Nobody's Perfect" (ITV, 1980-82) and a cynical lawyer in "Gorky Park" (1983). After "Withnail and I," Griffiths delivered a memorable dual performance in "The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear" (1991) and earned a new generation of fans for his often brief, but unforgettable turn as comic villain Uncle Vernon Dursley in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001). While reprising the role in four of the seven films in the franchise, Griffiths maintained a steady presence on stage and screen as one of Britain's finest comedic characters actors.