Harry Potter’s Robbie Coltrane Is Dead
Robbie Coltrane, the legendary actor who portrayed Hagrid in the Harry Potter franchise, has passed away.
In the Harry Potter series of films, many of the characters from the long-running J.K. Rowling franchise have become household names, as have most of the actors who portrayed them onscreen for a decade. Actor Robbie Coltrane was one of those actors, coming from a comedy background in his native Britain before embodying the iconic character of Hagrid over the course of eight films. According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, Coltrane passed away today at the age of 72 in Scotland of an undisclosed illness.
In recent years, Robbie Coltrane has mostly stayed out of the limelight, appearing as the host of a true crime series called Robbie Coltrane Critical Evidence and costarring in the dramedy television show Urban Myths that detailed various stories in pop culture. Coltrane participated in HBO Max’s 20th-anniversary special along with most of the cast and some crew of the Harry Potter franchise earlier this year, having been interviewed with fellow costars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Tom Felton. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts may have been the last time that Coltrane was featured onscreen prior to his death, bookending a career worth revisiting.
Born Anthony Robert McMillan, Robbie Coltrane had a very layered acting career, starting on the stage in productions in Edinburgh, Scotland, and London, England in the late 1970s to early 1980s. He moved into roles in British television on the 1980s-era sketch comedy series Alfresco, alongside fellow actors Hugh Laurie, Ben Elton, Stephen Fry, and Emma Thompson, each of whom became famous in their own right. Coltrane spent many years frequently collaborating with Emma Thompson on several projects, which eventually took each of them to the Harry Potter franchise later in both of their careers.
But before Harry Potter came calling, Robbie Coltrane established himself as one of the go-to Scottish actors of his generation. He started playing criminal psychologist Dr. Edward “Fitz” Fitzgerald on the hit British television show Cracker in 1993 and took the character through several iterations, spin-offs, specials, and television programs on and off until 2006. The fame he received playing Fitz on television led to more film roles both in Britain and internationally.
Robbie Coltrane initially came to the attention of American audiences when he starred as Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky in the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye alongside Pierce Brosnan, leading to a reprisal of the role in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough. Already a global star by this point, Coltrane embarked on the journey of a lifetime by accepting the role of Hagrid in 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which led to seven subsequent sequels lining up with Rowling’s novels of the same name. While filming the Harry Potter films, he took on more roles in big-budgeted Hollywood flicks, including Ocean’s Twelve, The Tale of Despereaux, and Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom, which helped lead to being appointed an Order of the British Empire by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 for his accomplishments in the world of dramatic art.