robbie coltrane hagrid

From left, Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. Image: Supplied/ Warner Bros

RIP Robbie Coltrane: ‘Potter’, Rowling pay tribute to Hagrid actor

Tributes are pouring in for the late Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid in the ‘Harry Potter’ film franchise.

robbie coltrane hagrid

From left, Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. Image: Supplied/ Warner Bros

Daniel Radcliffe has paid tribute to the 72-year-old Robbie Coltrane, calling the actor who portrayed the beloved Harry Potter character Hagrid, “one of the funniest people I’ve met”.

The Scottish actor’s death was confirmed by his agent Belinda Wright in a statement: “My client and friend Robbie Coltrane OBE passed away on Friday October 14.”

No cause of death was given but Wright thanked medical staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, central Scotland, “for their care and diplomacy”.

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Robbie Coltrane: ‘One of the funniest people I’ve met’

Radcliffe and Coltrane appeared together in all eight instalments of the Potter film franchise from 2001 to 2011.

According to Deadline, Radcliffe paid tribute to Coltrane in the following statement:

“Robbie was one of the funniest people I’ve met and used to keep us laughing constantly as kids on the set.

“I’ve especially fond memories of him keeping our spirits up on Prisoner 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.

“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.”

Writing on Twitter, Harry Potter author JK Rowling described Coltrane as an “incredible talent” and “a complete one-off”.

Robbie Coltrane: Larger than life

In this file photo, Robbie Coltrane attends a photocall for the film ‘Great Expectations’ in central London on 21 October 2012. Image: AFP/ Carl Court

Coltrane, who was born Anthony Robert McMillan on 30 March 1950, in Rutherglen, near Glasgow, carved out a career as an actor, comedian and writer.

Apart from his role as Hagrid, the half-giant half-human gamekeeper and Keeper of the Keys and Grounds of Hogwarts school, the Scottish actor also starred in two James Bond films — Goldeneye (1995) and The World Is Not Enough (1999).

The role of Hagrid “brought joy to children and adults alike all over the world, prompting a stream of fan letters every week for over 20 years”, said Wright.

As for his television work, Coltrane won several awards for his portrayal of the hard-drinking criminal psychologist Dr Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald in the British series Cracker (1993 to 2006). 

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‘I’ll not be here, sadly, but Hagrid will, yes’

On 1 January 2022, Coltrane participated in HBO Max’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts special alongside his former castmates Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Tom Felton

InTouchWeekly reported that during his reunion special confessional, the late actor spoke about his character and his experience on the set of the hit movies. 

“Hagrid was always a good guy,” he said. “And the way he looked after Harry, and he was the guy who told him he was a wizard at the start. So, it was a lovely part to play for that reason. And we had a lot of fun with it, you know.”

Coltrane also reflected on how he felt about starring in all of the Harry Potter movies.

“It’s 10 years of my life, and my children have grown up during it, of course,” he explained. “My children’s generation will show them to their children so you could be watching it in 50 years time easy. I’ll not be here, sadly, but Hagrid will, yes.”

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