Robbie Coltrane, the Scottish character actor who became beloved by a generation of moviegoers as Hagrid in the Harry Potter franchise of films, has died, according to a statement from his agency, WMA. He was 72 years old. Prior to Harry Potter, the star had a memorable role as Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky in the James Bond films GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough. In addition to his big-screen work, Coltrane was a comedian and writer who starred in 25 stories over 13 years as the cantankerous but brilliant police consultant Dr. Edward 'Fitz' Fitzgerald on the British detective series Cracker. He earned three consecutive BAFTA best actor trophies for the series.
No cause of death has yet been named. Coltrane has been confined to a wheelchair since 1999 due to severe osteoarthritis pain, and appeared only seated during January's Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts on HBO Max.
In that special, Coltrane reflected on the power of storytelling, and his own mortality. He teared up as he told the crew, "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 year's time, easily. I'll not be here, sadly -- but Hagrid will, yes."
Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan on March 30, 1950, in Glasgow, Scotland. After graduating from Glasgow Art School, he studied art at Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh.
Coltrane's film career started in 1980, and he almost immediately found himself in the genre space with a minor role in Flash Gordon. He became more recongizable a few years later playing various roles on U.K. sketch shows like A Kick Up the Eighties, Alfresco, and Laugh??? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee.
"I first met Robbie Coltrane almost exactly 40 years ago. I was awe/terror/love struck all at the same time," tweeted Stephen Fry, a comedian and actor who collaborated with Coltrane several times. "Such depth, power and talent: funny enough to cause helpless hiccups and honking as we made our first TV show, Alfresco. Farewell, old fellow. You'll be so dreadfully missed."
In 1987 and 1988, Coltrane scored (unrelated) roles in two different Blackadder specials, including the Spirit of Christmas in Blackadder's Christmas Carol.
Coltraine continued to work regularly on TV and in film for years before becoming globally known in the James Bond and Harry Potter roles. Shortly after Harry Potter, he scored a small part in the Frasier finale, putting him in front of millions of Americans without his Hagrid get-up the same year he played Matsui in Ocean's Twelve. Along the way, he appeared in a number of notable projects, including a role in the Alan Moore/Eddie Campbell adaptation From Hell and playing Mr. Hyde in the 2004 Van Helsing movie.
After appearing in all eight Harry Potter movies, Coltrane was a beloved figure for audiences and respected by critics. In 2019, he reprised the role of Hagrid in the short film Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.
Out condolences go out to Mr. Coltrane's famliy, friends, collaborators, and fans during this difficult time.