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Harry Potter star Robbie Coltrane has passed away aged 72
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Harry Potter star Robbie Coltrane has passed away aged 72

Robbie Coltrane passed away on Friday, October 14.

Robbie Coltrane has died aged 72.

The ‘James Bond’, ‘Cracker’ and ‘Harry Potter’ actor’s passing on Friday (14.10.22) was confirmed by his agent.

Belinda Wright said: “My client and friend Robbie Coltrane OBE passed away on Friday, October 14.

“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’.

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

A cause of death was not given.

Robbie is known globally for playing Rubeus Hagrid in the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise and Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky in the 007 films ‘GoldenEye’ and ‘The World Is Not Enough’.

He was appointed as OBE in the 2006 New Year Honours by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to drama.

Born Anthony Robert McMillan in the Glaswegian suburb of Rutherglen, he was educated at Glenalmond College before going to the Glasgow School of Art.

He switched to drama after thinking about becoming a painter, and did stand-up under the name Coltrane as a homage to the jazz musician John Coltrane.

His first major acting credit was in the Richard Eyre-directed ‘Waterloo Sunset’ in 1979, and he had small appearances in films and TV shows including ‘Flash Gordon’ and ‘Are You Being Served?’

He became part of the UK’s alternative comedy scene in the 1980s alongside Ben Elton and Rik Mayall, before his acting career took off after he plated Falstaff in Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Henry V’ and featured in comedies ‘Nuns on the Run’ and ‘The Pope Must Die’.

He was acclaimed for playing psychologist ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald in Jimmy McGovern’s TV series ‘Cracker’, winning Robbie the best TV actor Bafta in 1994, 1995 and 1996 for the role.

Like Fitz, Robbie was a heavy drinker in the 1980s and once threatened to beat up Piers Morgan at a restaurant in London.

His first appearance as Hagrid came in 2001’s ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, which re-energised his TV career, and he went on to play DI Hain in ‘Murderland’.

He married sculptor Rhona Gemmell in 1999 before their split in 2003, and the pair had two children.

Tributes have started to flood in from the acting and comedy worlds to Robbie, with his old friend and former co-star Stephen Fry tweeting: “I first met Robbie Coltrane almost exactly 40 years ago. I was awe/terror/love struck all at the same time.

“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.”