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October 23, 2021

‘Harry Potter’s Robert Knox Died at 18 - Years Later His Brother Spoke Out about the Tragedy

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A few weeks before "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" premiered, one of the cast members tragically lost his life. Read on to find out more about it. 

Robert Knox was cast as Marcus Belby, a Ravenclaw student in the hit movie "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." Four days after he shot his last scene in the movie, the young actor was tragically knifed to death in London. 

The former Beth Grammar School student, who had also acted in the hit TV police drama show "The Bill," was sitting inside the Metro Bar, Sidcup, Kent, when a brawl ensued, which further grew onto the pavement. 

Left: Pictures of late actor Robert Knox in a scene of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." Right: Robert Knox poses next to fellow actor Rupert Grint | Photo: youtube.com/Harry Potter || twitter.com/bbcsoutheast

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The young actor, who was 18 years old at the time, was trying to protect his 16-year-old younger brother Jamie when he was attacked by a man wielding two knives, who was later identified as a 22-year-old Karl Bishop.

According to Tom Hopkins, an 18-year-old who was also at the scene, Knox was stabbed as he tried to restrain the attacker. He recounted how he grabbed one of the knives but did not know the attacker had another.

Knox had earlier on in his life been in the news for speaking out about how he had been bullied because of his weight, how the episodes affected him, and encouraged him to start standing up to bullies. 

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He used to be pushed and beaten in school corridors or outside the school ground, which in turn led him to start hating himself, he admitted. However, he grew to become happy with his appearance and things did not get to him anymore. 

The teen was unfortunately stabbed five times, with the knife penetrating one of the main arteries. He was later pronounced dead at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital located in Woolwich, south-east London, at 1 a.m. the following morning. 

Robert Knox's father, Colin Knox outside the Old Bailey on March 4, 2009 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images

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Shortly after the announcement, several friends paid tributes and laid flowers at the Sidcup rail station scene. His cousin, Vicky, told reporters that he was not a thug and that what happened was not gang-related. She claimed everyone loved him and that he always looked out for her.

Warner Bros, the company behind the "Harry Potter" movie franchise, released a statement consoling the family, claiming they were shocked and saddened by the news. 

Robert Knox's mother, Sally Knox outside the Old Bailey on March 4, 2009 in London, England | Photo: Getty Images

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FAMILY MEMBERS SPEAK 

Sally Knox, the mother of Robert and Jamie, described the pain and sadness of attending the "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" premiere without her son. 

She said all Robert wanted was to get his dinner suit and walk up the red carpet at Leicester Square and that he was a lovely normal kid and a joker. She admitted he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. 

She thanked Warmer Bros for sending her a film of Robert's outtakes which she called her happy place. Speaking outside the central criminal court, Sally talked about her loss and how determined she was to eradicate knife crime, a major social problem facing English youths. 

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She vowed to continue working towards making sure that Robert did not die in vain by advocating against knife crime. This comes after the attacker, Karl Bishop, was found guilty of murdering Robert and has since been sentenced to life imprisonment.

She admitted nothing would compensate for the losses she felt but was enormously relieved justice had been served. Jamie, the younger brother of Robert, who was also at the crime scene, claimed it happened in front of him but did not see exactly when Robert was stabbed. 

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He said Robert was attempting to get the knife off the man who was swinging his arms around with knives aimed at people. He turned around to scream and saw his brother holding himself with his arms, claiming to have been stabbed. 

He waited for the ambulance to arrive, but they would not allow him to ride with Robert to the hospital. He had to wait an agonizing 45 minutes at the hospital, and when the doctor, together with a policewoman, walked towards him, he knew that his brother did not survive. 

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ROBERT'S DOCUMENTARY AND LEGACY

The Knox family started the Rob Knox Foundation in memory of the late actor. The Foundation's goal is to get young people into acting as a way to avoid a life of crime. The foundation funds projects to combat youth offending and also gives talks to young people, warning them about the danger of crime. 

The Foundation has worked with actor Ray Winstone on a documentary about the life and death of Robert. The movie won Best Feature Documentary at the London Independent Film Festival. 

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Colin Knox, the father of Robert and Jamie, claims the documentary showcases how the impact of a murder spreads beyond the victim's immediate family. 

He also claimed that years after the tragic loss of his son, things have not changed, and many people have died due to knife crimes since then. He said schools should try to educate children about the dangers and impact of knife crimes. 

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WHERE IS HIS FAMILY NOW?

Robert's younger brother, Jamie, speaking to guest host Fiona Philipps on "Lorraine," admitted that when Robert was cast in Harry Potter, he was jealous and at the same time proud of his brother. 

He is also about to make his own reality show debut in the show "Stage School," the series which follows the life of D and B Theater School students.

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He claimed to share a love of acting with his brother, but that it was Robert that gave him the confidence and also influenced him to pursue a career in acting. The actor is currently engaged and is expecting a child with his partner. He posted a picture which he captioned

"So excited about the next stage of our lives welcoming the little one into our world @cathyfoster33 your going to make an amazing mummy."

The mother of the late actor is engaged to garage owner Sam Holder, a man introduced to her by Robert a few months before his death. The only regret she admitted to was not having Robert there to be the best man. 

Sally said she had put the death of Robert behind her, and she knows he would have wanted her to be happy. 

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