Harry Potter’s Rubeus Hagrid aka Robbie Coltrane dead at age 72

Robbie Coltrane in 2007. By clogdancer – Cropped from Easter 07 060, CC BY-SA 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

Anthony Robert McMillan OBE (30 March 1950 – 14 October 2022), known professionally as Robbie Coltrane, was a Scottish actor and comedian. He gained worldwide recognition as Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter film series (2001–2011), and as Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky in the James Bond films GoldenEye (1995) and The World Is Not Enough (1999). He was appointed an OBE in the 2006 New Year Honours by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to drama. In 1990, Coltrane received the Evening Standard British Film Award – Peter Sellers Award for Comedy. In 2011, he was honoured for his “outstanding contribution” to film at the British Academy Scotland Awards.

Coltrane started his career appearing alongside Hugh LaurieStephen Fry, and Emma Thompson in the sketch series Alfresco (1983–1984). In 1987, he starred in the BBC miniseries Tutti Frutti alongside Thompson, for which he received his first British Academy Television Award for Best Actor nomination. Coltrane then gained national prominence starring as criminal psychologist Dr. Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald in the ITV television series Cracker (1993–2006), a role which saw him receive the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor in three consecutive years (1994 to 1996). In 2006, Coltrane came eleventh in ITV’s poll of TV’s 50 Greatest Stars, voted by the public. In 2016 he starred in the four-part Channel 4 series National Treasure alongside Julie Walters, a role for which he received a British Academy Television Award nomination.

Coltrane appeared in two films for George Harrison‘s Handmade Films: the Neil Jordan neo-noir Mona Lisa (1987) with Bob Hoskins, and Nuns on the Run with Eric Idle. He also appeared in Kenneth Branagh‘s Shakespeare adaptation Henry V (1989), the comedy Let It Ride (1989), Roald Dahl’s Danny, the Champion of the World (1989), Steven Soderbergh‘s crime-comedy thriller Ocean’s Twelve (2004), Rian Johnson‘s caper film The Brothers Bloom (2008), Mike Newell‘s Dickens film adaptation Great Expectations (2012), and Emma Thompson‘s biographical film Effie Gray (2014). He was also known for his voice performances in the animated films The Tale of Despereaux (2008), and Pixar‘s Brave (2012).

PERSONAL LIFE AND DEATH

Coltrane married Rhona Gemmell on 11 December 1999. The couple had two children: son Spencer (b. 1992), and daughter Alice (b. 1998). Coltrane and Gemmell separated in 2003, and later divorced.

Coltrane suffered from osteoarthritis in later life. He said he was in “constant pain all day” in 2016, and from 2019 on he employed a wheelchair.

During the campaign for the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Coltrane voiced his conditional support for independence, stating that “I’d eventually like to see independence – but only an independent Labour Scotland.”

Coltrane died at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert on 14 October 2022, after having been in ill health for two years. He was 72.

Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid in Harry Potter (courtesy Warner Brothers Entertainment)
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