Obituaries

Robbie Coltrane, ‘Harry Potter’ And James Bond Film Actor, Dies At 72

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Actor Robbie Coltrane died on October 14 at the age of 72
  • He was famous for playing Rubeus Hagrid in the ‘Harry Potter’ films, and for his roles in ‘GoldenEye’ and ‘Cracker’
  • In his career, Coltrane was one of few to win three consecutive BAFTA Best Actor awards in a row

 

Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane has died. He was 72 years old when he passed on October 14. News of his death comes from his agent Belinda Wright and agency WME. Coltrane gained international acclaim with the roles of Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter films and as James Bond’s ally Valentin Zukovsky in GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He will probably be best remembered for decades to come as Hagrid in the Harry Potter films,” said Wright in a statement, “a role which brought joy to children and adults alike all over the world, prompting a stream of fan letters every week for over 20 years.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The gigantic success of Robbie Coltrane

Coltrane’s award-winning triumph, Cracker / Sven Arnstein / © A+E Networks / courtesy Everett Collection

Coltrane was born as Anthony Robert McMillan on March 30, 1950. He did not come from an acting background but got into theatre and comedy by the time he was 20. By then, he used the stage name Coltrane as a nod to jazz saxophonist John Coltrane; his parents were not actors, but his pianist mother provided him a background in music. Comedy was his fallback after a slow start to acting but he did land roles on British television such as Blackadder and Alfresco. Through these gigs, he became a very familiar face – with a recognizably loud presence.

NATIONAL TREASURE, Robbie Coltrane, (Season 1, Episode 1, aired September 20, 2016). ph: Aimee Spinks/©Hulu/courtesy Everett Collection

RELATED: In Memoriam—People We’ve Lost In 2021

Coltrane really became a household name in the U.K. thanks to his performance as Dr. Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald in the crime drama Cracker, appearing from 1993 to 2006. The role won him three consecutive BAFTA awards for Best Actor; this consecutive occurrence has only happened one other time, with his former Harry Potter co-star Michael Gambon.

Remembering a larger-than-life franchise favorite

GOLDENEYE, Robbie Coltrane, 1995 / Everett Collection

James Bond always needs to choose his allies with care; one of those in his globetrotting adventures was Valentin Zukovsky, played by Coltrane himself, a role he carried through GoldenEye to The World Is Not Enough, opposite Pierce Brosnan. This marked a turning point in his film careers, adding bigger movies to his growing filmography. Then came the role of the archetypal and literal gentle giant Rubeus Hagrid in 2001’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Just about every year since, across eight films, he returned to the big screen as Hagrid, armed with a magical pink umbrella and an ever-growing fan base, along with new friendships with the young cast. He took the job seriously as a fan of the books, while understanding he needed to give it his all to do a good voice for Hagrid, explaining, “The children expect it. No monotones allowed.”

HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, Robbie Coltrane on set, 2004, © Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

His standout career did not just make him a slew of fans; he made many friends among his colleagues. His former Alfresco castmate Stephen Fry posted on Twitter, “I first met Robbie Coltrane almost exactly 40 years ago. I was awe/terror/love struck all at the same time. Such depth, power & talent: funny enough to cause helpless hiccups & honking as we made our first TV show, ‘Alfresco.’ Farewell, old fellow.” Daniel Radcliffe, who played the titular Boy Who Lived, said in his own tribute, “I feel incredibly lucky that I got to meet and work with him and very sad that he’s passed. He was an incredible actor and a lovely man.”

Deadline reports that Coltrane had been in poor health for the last two years and that he ultimately passed at a hospital near his home in Larbert, Scotland. No specific details on his death have been shared by Wright, by time of writing, but his family issued thanks for the staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital for the care they provided Coltrane. In 1999, he married Rhona Gemmell and together they had two children before divorcing in 2003. Coltrane is survived by Rhona, children Spencer and Alice, and sister Annie Rae.

Coltrane / Keith Mayhew / Landmark Media / ImageCollect

RELATED: ‘James Bond’ Actor Paul Ritter Dies At 54 Of A Brain Tumor

Show comments
Share
Published by

Recent Posts

The Remarkable Life Of Lucille Ball: Advocate, Rebel, Mother, Hero

UPDATED 1/31/2023 Lucille Désirée Ball had Americans rolling in their seats with laughter everywhere she…

7 mins ago

Meet Tom Hanks’ Kids, Including Co-Star In New Movie, Truman

Tom Hanks is a name that rings a bell in the Hollywood acting scene. The…

21 mins ago

Meet Liam Neeson’s Two Children With Late Wife, Natasha Richardson

Liam Neeson is an Irish actor who is popular for his role in Steven Spielberg's…

2 hours ago

Susan Sarandon Defends Parenting Style After Her Daughter Calls Childhood A “Circus”

Life in the limelight can be very different not just for the primary famous individual…

12 hours ago

Television Icon And ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Star Cindy Williams Dies At 75

Actress Cindy Williams died on January 25 at the age of 75. Her passing follows…

14 hours ago

Woman Discovers She Married Her Cousin While Searching For Baby Names On The Internet

Recently, a TikToker, Marcella Hill posted a video where she detailed an unpleasant story that…

14 hours ago