- Film & TV
- 14 Oct 22
The sad news came through today of the death of actor – and very funny man – Robbie Coltrane. One of the stars of the Harry Potter series, he originally made himself a household name starring in the ITV series Cracker...
Robbie Coltrane, who made his name in Cracker and starred in Harry Potter, has died. He was 72 years of age.
The Scottish film star, was best known for playing the Hogwarts gamekeeper Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies. But for many, it was for his role as criminal psychologist Dr Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald in the ITV crime drama Cracker that he will be most fondly remembered.
Belinda Wright, his agent for the past 40 years, explained that Coltrane died on Friday. She thanked the medical staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, near Falkirk in Scotland, for what she described as their "care and diplomacy."
"Robbie was a unique talent,” she added in a statement, "sharing the Guinness Book of Records' Award for winning three consecutive Best Actor Baftas for his portrayal of Fitz in Granada TV's series Cracker in 1994, 1995 and 1996 with Sir Michael Gambon.
"He will probably be best remembered for decades to come as Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, 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.
"James Bond fans write too to applaud his role in Golden Eye and The World Is Not Enough.”
Born in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, in 1950, Coltrane – real name Anthony Robert McMillan – was the son of teacher and pianist Jean Ross and general practitioner Ian Baxter McMillan. Robbie was educated at independent school Glenalmond College in Perth and Kinross.
He attended Glasgow School of Art and Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh, before launching his career as an actor in his 20s.
Coltrane starred alongside Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson in the Granada Television/ITV sketch series Alfresco from 1983 to 1984. He starred again alongside Thompson for the BBC miniseries Tutti Frutti, in which he played Big Jazza – for which he received his first Bafta nomination.
Stephen Fry paid eloquent tribute to his former co-star, saying he had "such depth, power and talent."
"I first met Robbie Coltrane almost exactly 40 years ago," Fry tweeted. "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."
Belinda Wright also spoke of her personal memories of Coltrane.
"For me personally,” she said, "I shall remember him as an abidingly loyal client 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."
Coltrane gained further fame starring as criminal psychologist Dr Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald in the ITV series Cracker from 1993 to 1995 and in a special return episode in 2006.
The role secured him the Bafta award for best actor for three consecutive years from 1994 to 1996.
Coltrane was made an OBE in the 2006 New Year's honours list for his services to drama. He was awarded the Bafta Scotland Award for outstanding contribution to film in 2011.
Robbie Coltrane is survived by his sister Annie Rae, his children Spencer and Alice and their mother Rhona Gemmell.
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