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Robbie Coltrane, actor best known as Hagrid in 'Harry Potter' films, dies at 72

| Film & Television

Robbie Coltrane, the veteran Scottish actor best know for his role as the beloved Rubeus Hagrid in the "Harry Potter" film franchise, died Friday at 72.

By Underground Press

Published Friday, 14 October 2022 20:14

Belinda Wright, Coltrane’s agent, said he had died at a hospital in Scotland. She did not give a cause.

The actor, born Anthony Robert McMillan, appeared in dozens of films and TV shows but is best known best to "Harry Potter" fans as Hagrid, the good-natured half-giant groundskeeper of Hogwarts and a mentor to Harry as he navigated the wizarding world. 

Coltrane rose to prominence with his role as Dr. Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald in the ITV series "Cracker," helping police solve crimes in the British drama. His turn as a criminal psychologist earned him three consecutive BAFTAs for best actor. Queen Elizabeth II appointed Coltrane with an OBE in 2006.

Other roles include a Russian crime boss in the James Bond thrillers "GoldenEye" and "The World is Not Enough." Coltrane gained rave reviews for playing a beloved TV star who may harbor a dark secret in the 2016 miniseries "National Treasure."

The actor also appeared in 2004's "Ocean's Twelve," Rian Johnson's "The Brothers Bloom" in 2008 and the 2012 Dickens film adaptation "Great Expectations," along with voice work in the animated films "The Tale of Despereaux" (alongside "Potter" co-star Emma Watson) and "Brave."

Coltrane appeared in HBO Max's "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts,", highlighting the way young readers all over the world "fell in love" with author J.K. Rowling's writing.

"One of the reasons I admire J.K. so much is that millions now read books who would have never lifted a book up in their lives," Coltrane said in the special. "And you suddenly realize the power of writing." 

Over the last few years, Rowling faced backlash over comments about the transgender community that conflated sex with gender and defended ideas suggesting that changing one's biological sex threatens her own gender identity. She has doubled down even after the posts were widely perceived as transphobic, misinformative and hurtful. Coltrane defended Rowling last summer, saying those who criticized her comments were "waiting to be offended." 

Wright said that “as well as being a wonderful actor, he was forensically intelligent, brilliantly witty and after 40 years of being proud to be called his agent, I shall miss him.”

Wright said Coltrane is survived by his sister Annie Rae, his ex-wife Rhona Gemmell and his children Spencer and Alice.


Updated on:
>> Friday, 14 October 2022 20:29

Film, Robbie Coltrane

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Robbie Coltrane

Robbie Coltrane

About Robbie Coltrane

Anthony Robert McMillan, known professionally as Robbie Coltrane, was a Scottish actor, comedian and writer. 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.