Actor Robbie Coltrane, Hagrid in Harry Potter films, dies at 72


Robbie Coltrane at the world premiere of 'Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2,' the last film in the series on July 7, 2011. Coltrane, who played a forensic psychologist on TV series "Cracker” and Hagrid in the "Harry Potter” movies, has died. He was 72. – Photo: AP

Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, has died aged 72, his agent said on Friday.

Coltrane also played a former KGB agent-turned-Russian mafia boss in two James Bond films – Goldeneye (1995) and The World Is Not Enough (1999) – with Pierce Brosnan.

"My client and friend Robbie Coltrane OBE passed away on Friday October 14," Belinda Wright said in a statement, calling him "a unique talent".

"Robbie was one of the funniest people I've met and used to keep us laughing constantly as kids on set," said Daniel Radcliffe, who played the title role in the Harry Potter series.

"I feel incredibly lucky that I got to meet and work with him and very sad that he's passed."

On the official James Bond Twitter account, franchise producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, paid tribute to Coltrane as "an exceptional actor whose talent knew no bounds. We shall miss him as a dear friend. Rest in peace Robbie."

Depth, power, talent

Coltrane, who was born Anthony Robert McMillan on March 30, 1950, in Rutherglen, near Glasgow, forged a career as an actor, comedian and writer.

On television, he starred alongside Emma Thompson in the cult Bafta-winning BBC mini-series Tutti Frutti in 1987.

He came to prominence and won more awards for his portrayal of the hard-drinking criminal psychologist Dr Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald in the ITV series Cracker (1993-2006).

He was the English author and lexicographer Samuel Johnson in the TV comedy series Blackadder The Third alongside Mr Bean star Rowan Atkinson and Hugh Laurie (House).

Frequent co-star Stephen Fry tweeted that he was "awe/terror/love struck all at the same time" when he first met Coltrane 40 years ago.

"Such depth, power & talent: funny enough to cause helpless hiccups & honking as we made our first TV show, Alfresco. Farewell, old fellow. You'll be so dreadfully missed," he wrote.

Coltrane is best known for his role as Hagrid in the Harry Potter film franchise. – Photo: FilepicColtrane is best known for his role as Hagrid in the Harry Potter film franchise. – Photo: Filepic

An 'incredible talent'

On the big screen, Coltrane had roles in the 1987 Neil Jordan crime drama Mona Lisa and teamed up with former Monty Python star Eric Idle in the 1990 comedy Nuns On The Run.

But he will best be remembered globally as Rubeus Hagrid, the half-giant half-human gamekeeper and Keeper of the Keys and Grounds of Hogwarts school in the film franchise of JK Rowling's best-selling Harry Potter books.

The role "brought joy to children and adults alike all over the world, prompting a stream of fan letters every week for over 20 years", said Wright.

"As well as being a wonderful actor, he was forensically intelligent, brilliantly witty," she said.

Rowling tweeted that "I'll never know anyone remotely like Robbie again.

"He was an incredible talent, a complete one off, and I was beyond fortunate to know him, work with him and laugh my head off with him," she wrote.

Coltrane is survived by his children Spencer and Alice and their mother Rhona Gemmell.

No cause of death was given but Wright thanked medical staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, central Scotland, "for their care and diplomacy". – AFP

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obituary , Harry Potter , Robbie Coltrane


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