Robbie Coltrane who starred in Harry Potter and Cracker dies aged 72

Robbie Coltrane was made an OBE in 2006 (PA)
Robbie Coltrane was made an OBE in 2006 (PA)

Actor Robbie Coltrane has died aged 72, his agent has said.

Coltrane, whose real name is Anthony Robert McMillan, is well known for his British crime series Cracker, as well as playing Hagrid in the Harry Potter franchise.

The veteran Scottish-born actor and comic also appeared in two James Bond films as he played Valentin Zukovsky in GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough.

Among his more recent roles, Coltrane re-visited his role as Hagrid in the fantasy short film Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

Coltrane’s agent, Belinda Wright, said the star died on Friday.

In a statement, she said: “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.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

“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.”

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.

He then said: “Once you’ve been doing anything for 25 years people start to notice you.

“What was really nice about the OBE is that it’s the first award where I didn’t have to make a speech and I didn’t have to sit there waiting to see if I’d won, I knew I was going to get it.”

It was not until he was in his 20s that Coltrane moved into acting, which prompted him to take the stage name Coltrane, a tribute to jazz saxophonist John Coltrane.

After working in theatre and comedy, he secured a role in BBC comedy series A Kick Up The Eighties, which brought him further roles.

But it was not until his performance in Bond film GoldenEye that he became internationally-known.

It led to him securing a role in the lucrative Harry Potter franchise for which he was personally selected by author JK Rowling, which led to appearances as Rubeus Hagrid in all the eight films.

The 6ft 1ins actor is said to have only taken the role of the giant after his children urged him to.

Tributes have already started flowing for the star.

“I first met Robbie Coltrane almost exactly 40 years ago,” Stephen Fry has tweeted.

He starred alongside Coltrane in the comedy series Alfresco.

“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.”

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has described him as a “Scottish entertainment legend”.

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