Daniel Radcliffe pays homage to "incredible" Harry Potter star Robbie Coltrane

Daniel Radcliffe remembered his Harry Potter co-star Robbie Coltrane as “one of the funniest people” and an “incredible actor” after his death at the age of 72.

The Scottish star, whose real name is Anthony Robert McMillan, was best known for playing beloved Hogwarts gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid in the fantasy series and for playing criminal psychologist Dr Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald in the ITV drama Cracker.

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

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 UK film premiere - London

Robbie Coltrane (Dominic Lipinski / PA)

Radcliffe, who played the role of the titular wizard in the Harry Potter films, shared fond memories of their time on set together while paying tribute to Coltrane.

In a shared statement with the PA news agency, he said, “Robbie was one of the funniest people I ever met and made us laugh constantly as kids on set.

“I have particularly fond memories of how he kept spirits up on the Prisoner of Azkaban, when we all hid from the torrential rain for hours in Hagrid’s hut and he would tell stories and joke to keep his spirits up.

“I feel incredibly lucky to have gotten to meet and work with him and I am very sad about his death. He was an incredible actor and a lovely man. “

Harry Potter author JK Rowling shared a photo of them together on Twitter paying tribute to the “incredible” actor.

Emma Watson, best known for her role as Hermione Granger, said Coltrane made the cast a family.

“Robbie was like the funniest uncle I’ve ever had, but most of all he was deeply caring and compassionate to me as a child and an adult,” Watson wrote in her Instagram story with a photo of the two of them.

“His talent was so immense that it made sense to play a giant: he could fill ANY space with his genius.

“Robbie, if I can ever be as nice to myself as you are on a movie set, I promise I will do it in your name and in your memory.

“Know how much I adore and admire you. I will really miss your sweetness, your nicknames, your warmth, your laughter and your hugs. You made us a family. Know you were the one for us.

“There was no better Hagrid. It was a joy to be Hermione.

He wrote: “I will never know anyone like Robbie again.

“He was an incredible, unique talent, and I was more than lucky to get to know him, work with him and laugh out loud with him.

“I send my love and heartfelt condolences to his family, especially to his children”.

Coltrane’s role in all eight Harry Potter film series has probably become his best known.

Born in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, in 1950, Coltrane was the son of teacher and pianist Jean Ross and general practitioner Ian Baxter McMillan, and studied at the independent Glenalmond College in Perth and Kinross.

He later attended the Glasgow School of Art and Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh and moved on to acting at the age of twenty.

He starred alongside Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry and Dame Emma Thompson in the Alfresco sketch series from 1983 to 1984, and reunited with Dame Emma for the BBC miniseries Tutti Frutti where he played Big Jazza, for which he received the his first Bafta nomination.

Coltrane gained further fame playing criminal psychologist Dr Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald in the ITV Cracker series from 1993 to 1995 and in a special return episode in 2006.

The role secured him the Bafta Award for Best Actor for three consecutive years from 1994 to 1996.

Coltrane also appeared in another classic British franchise when he played KGB man Valentin Zukovsky in the Bond film Goldeneye in 1995 and revised the same character in The World Is Not Enough.

REAL inversion

Actors Robbie Coltrane with his OBE after receiving it from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2006 (Andrew Parsons / PA)

In a statement, his agent Belinda Wright said, “Robbie was a unique talent, sharing the Guinness Book of Records for winning three consecutive Baftas for Best Actor for his portrayal of Fitz in the Granada television series Cracker in 1994, 1995 and 1996 with Sir Michele Gambon.

“He will probably be best remembered for decades to come as Hagrid in the Harry Potter films.

“A role that has brought joy to children and adults around the world, sparking a stream of fan letters every week for over 20 years.

“James Bond fans are also writing to applaud his role in GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough.

“For me personally, I will remember him as a loyal client as well as a wonderful actor, he was smart forensic, brilliantly witty and after 40 years of pride in being called his agent, I will miss him.”

Fry praised his co-star Alfresco’s “depth, power and talent” as he paid tribute to him on Twitter.

He said: “I first met Robbie Coltrane almost exactly 40 years ago. I was struck by awe / terror / love at the same time.

“Such depth, power and talent: entertaining enough to cause helpless sobbing and honking when we made our first TV show, ‘Alfresco’.

“Goodbye, old sport. We will miss you terribly ”.

Coltrane was named OBE on the 2006 New Year’s Eve Awards list for his services to the theater and in 2011 received the Bafta Scotland Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film.

The actor leaves behind his sister Annie Rae, his children Spencer and Alice and their mother Rhona Gemmell.

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