Harry Potter star Robbie Coltrane dies aged 72

Robbie Coltrane was best known for playing Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter film series

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Harry Potter and Cracker actor Robbie Coltrane has died aged 72, his agent has said.

The Scottish star, whose real name is Anthony Robert McMillan, was best known for playing the beloved Hogwarts gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid and starring as criminal psychologist Dr Eddie ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald in crime drama Cracker.

His agent of 40 years Belinda Wright said Mr Coltrane died on Friday and thanked the medical staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, near Falkirk in Scotland for their “care and diplomacy”.

In a statement, she said: “My client and friend Robbie Coltrane OBE passed away on Friday October 14.

Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane

"Robbie was a unique talent, 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 GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough."

She continued: “For me personally 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.

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

Coltrane was made an OBE in the 2006 New Year’s honours list for his services to drama
Coltrane was made an OBE in the 2006 New Year’s honours list for his services to drama

"They would like to thank the medical staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert for their care and diplomacy.

“Please respect Robbie’s family’s privacy at this distressing time.”

Coltrane was made an OBE in the 2006 New Year’s honours list for his services to drama and he was awarded the Bafta Scotland Award for outstanding contribution to film in 2011.

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

JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, has paid tribute to the “incredible” Coltrane following his death.

“I’ll never know anyone remotely like Robbie again,” Rowling wrote, accompanied with a picture of the pair.

“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.

“I send my love and deepest condolences to his family, above all his children.”

Daniel Radcliffe has remembered his Harry Potter co-star Coltrane as “one of the funniest people” and an “incredible actor”.

The actor, who starred in the lead role in the fantasy series, worked closely with Coltrane throughout the eight films.

JK Rowling has paid tribute to Robbie Coltrane
JK Rowling has paid tribute to Robbie Coltrane

Radcliffe shared fond memories from set in a statement, saying: “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.”

James Phelps, who starred alongside Coltrane as Fred Weasley in the Harry Potter films, recalled his first memory of the actor.

Phelps tweeted: “I will miss the random chats about all subjects under the sun.

“And I’ll never forget in September 2000, Robbie Coltrane came over to a very nervous 14yr old me on my 1st ever day on a movie set and said ‘Enjoy it, you’ll be great’. Thank you for that."

The official Twitter account for the Harry Potter films said the team was “hugely saddened” by the news of Coltrane’s death.

“We are hugely saddened to hear of the passing of the magnificent Robbie Coltrane who played Hagrid with such kindness, heart and humour in the Harry Potter films,” the message said.

“He was a wonderful actor, a friend to all and he will be deeply missed.”

Stephen Fry has also paid tribute to Coltrane, with whom he starred in the comedy series Alfresco.

“I first met Robbie Coltrane almost exactly 40 years ago,” Mr 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.”