Robbie Coltrane, Harry Potter star, dead at 72
Robbie Coltrane, know for his work in Harry Potter and James Bond, passed away on Friday, October 14th. He was 72.
“We can confirm that Robbie Coltrane has died,” a representative of the actor confirmed to Us Magazine. “He is survived by his sister Annie Rae, his children Spencer and Alice and their mother Rhona Gemmell.”
So far, the cause of death has not been made public.
Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid
Robbie Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan. He was best known for playing Hagrid, the Hogwarts groundskeeper in the Harry Potter franchise.
He also starred opposite Pierce Brosnan in two James Bond films as Valentin Zukovsky: GoldenEye and The World is Not Enough.
The Scottish actor started his career as a stand-up comic in Edinburgh. He starred on several British sitcoms like Blackadder and Alfresco before landing the part that made him famous as criminal psychologist Dr. Edward “Fitz” Fitzgerald on Cracker.
Coltrane won three BAFTA TV awards for his role as Fitz.
Friends react to Robbie Coltrane passing
Stephen Fry, who starred alongside Robbie in Blackadder, wrote: “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. You’ll be so dreadfully missed.”
Robert Linday, star of My Family, shared this statement:
“Now I’m in shock at the death of my dear pal Robbie Coltrane. We shared a Hollywood journey that will live with me forever. Another great star to light the heavens.”
The Harry Potter cast reacts
J.K Rowling, Daniel Radcliffe and more Harry Potter stars poured their hearts out in response to the news.
“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,” tweeted J.K. Rowling, author of the famed Harry Potter series, alongside a photo of her and Coltrane. “I send my love and deepest condolences to his family, above all his children.”
Daniel Radcliffe recalled Coltrane as a bright light in dark times.
“Robbie was one of the funniest people I’ve met and used to keep us laughing constantly as kids on the set,” Radcliffe said in a statement. “I’ve especially fond memories of him keeping our spirits up on Prisoners of Azkaban. When we were all hiding from the torrential rain for hours in Hagrid’s hut and he was telling stories and cracking jokes to keep morale up.”
He added: “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.”
Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom, also shared his deepest condolences.
“Robbie. Bobser. He called me Space Boy. We shared a love of the final frontier. He didn’t give a f**k and it always made you smile. A giant, in more ways than one. We had some times,” Lewis tweeted.
Robbie Coltrane and his health issues
Coltrane previously faced battles with his health. In 2015, he was rushed to hospital after having severe flu-like symptoms while on board a trans-Atlantic flight to Florida.
An idol for children
In 2012, in an interview with The Guardian, Robbie Coltrane was asked how it felt being an idol for children.
“It is a little strange, to go from something like Cracker, where children are sent to bed before it comes on, to suddenly being confronted by doe-eyed children in a supermarket, telling you their mummy says you’re Hagrid,” Coltrane said.
“You just have to adapt. I have children of my own, and I recall sitting with my wife watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – when you’re children are about nine, you must watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang every day for a month – and thinking it would be wonderful to be in something like that and leave a legacy. And then Harry Potter happened.”
His last public appearance
He was last pictured during filming for Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, which was released in January 2022, twenty years after the first Harry Potter film.
Coltrane was seen having a conversation with Emma Watson, who played Hermione in the films.
In the interview, he opened up about the legacy of Hagrid.
“It’s the end of an era. Ten years of my life. My children have grown up during it,” the actor said. “The legacy of the movies is that my children’s generation will show them to their children. So, you could be watching it in 50 years’ time, easily… I’ll not be here, sadly, but Hagrid will, yes.”