Robbie Coltrane: Comic performer who played hagrid in ‘Harry Potter’ Movies, was pass away at 72

Robbie Coltrane, the veteran comedian and actor known for his star turns in the British crime series Cracker and the Harry Potter movie franchise, died on Friday, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. He was 72.

Coltrane’s agent Belinda Wright called him a “unique talent,” whom she’ll remember as “an abidingly loyal client.”

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

The boisterous and decidedly eccentric Scotsman, who started his career in comedy and theatre, also commanded the screen in two James Bond films during an illustrious career on both sides of the Atlantic.

Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan on March 30, 1950, in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of a doctor and a teacher. After graduating from Glasgow Art School, he continued his studies in art at the Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh.

But as his efforts to become an artist failed to pan out, Coltrane took up stand-up comedy in Edinburgh clubs. And he changed his last name in honor of the jazz legend John Coltrane when he turned to acting in London.

Coltrane’s early TV credits include Flash Gordon, Blackadder, and Keep It in the Family. His other comedy credits include series like A Kick Up the Eighties, The Comic Strip and Alfresco as he became a main stay on British TV screens.

Coltrane’s breakthrough role was playing Dr. Edward “Fitz” Fitzgerald, an anti-social criminal psychologist with a gift for solving crimes, in Jimmy McGovern’s Cracker series, which ran over 25 episodes between 1993 and 2006.

Coltrane won three consecutive BAFTA best television actor awards for that role, sharing a record for the most wins in a row.

That performance led Coltrane to roles in two James Bond movies, playing Valentin Zukovsky in GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough. But most know Coltrane from his other big supporting role: Rubeus Hagrid, the giant groundskeeper at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in the Harry Potter films, beginning with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001.

Coltrane wrote an autobiography, Coltrane in a Cadillac, and also starred in the TV series of the same name in 1993, where he drove across America from Los Angeles to New York City in a classic 1951 Cadillac.

Coltrane is survived by his sister, Annie Rae, his children, Spencer and Alice, and their mother, Rhona Gemmell.

The family, Wright said, “would like to thank the medical staff at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Scotland for their care and diplomacy.”

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