From Cracker to Hagrid, champion Robbie Coltrane has dominated the screen

Perhaps best known for his role as Rubeus Hagrid in eight Harry Potter films, Robbie Coltrane OBE was an out of the ordinary character whose presence was immediately apparent whenever he graced the screen.

Born as Anthony Robert McMillan in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, on March 30, 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.

While there, he headed the school’s debate society and won art awards, which later prompted him to attend the Glasgow School of Art and Edinburgh’s Moray House College of Education.

Coltrane was known as

Coltrane was known as “Red Robbie” as a young man (PA)

Despite attending a private school, he demanded that they be banned and earned the nickname “Red Robbie” due to his involvement with the Labor Party and his anti-conservative views, which were opposed to his upbringing.

One of three siblings, which include older sister Annie and younger sister Jane, her father’s death when she was 19 had a huge impact on her life.

It wasn’t until the age of 20 that he switched to acting, which prompted him to take the stage name Coltrane, a tribute to jazz saxophonist John Coltrane.

After working in theater and comedy, he secured a role on the BBC comedy series A Kick Up The Eighties, which brought him further roles in the films The Comic Strip Presents The Supergrass (1985) and The Pope Must Die (1991), and a series of comic sketch shows.

He also made a memorable appearance as dictionary creator Samuel Johnson in Blackadder The Third in 1987 before reuniting with the cast for the 1988 Blackadder Christmas Carol special.

Robbie Coltrane played the role of Dr. Eddie

Robbie Coltrane played the role of Dr. Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald in Cracker (PA)

Coltrane has also appeared in eight films with a former member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Eric Idle was his counterpart in Nuns On The Run (1990) and National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985).

He also played Big Jazza in the TV miniseries Tutti Frutti, where he appeared in six episodes.

In 1988 he met sculptor Rhona Gemmell in a pub and they married in 1999.

Their son Spencer was born in 1992 before their daughter, Alice, arrived in 1998. The actor, who lived in Killearn, in the Stirling Council area, and his wife had separated.

One of his most high-profile television roles was in the 1990s as Dr. Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald, a forensic psychologist on the TV series Cracker (1993).

It wasn’t until his portrayal of KGB man Valentin Zukovsky in the James Bond film Goldeneye (1995) that he rose to international fame, revisiting the same character in The World is Not Enough.

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 eight films.

The 6-foot, 1-inch actor is said to have played the role of the giant only after his sons urged him to do so.

Coltrane at the UK premiere of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Ian West / PA)

Coltrane at the UK premiere of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Ian West / PA)

Coltrane’s collection of accolades culminated with an OBE award from the Queen in 2006 for services to the theater.

Then he said, “After you’ve done anything for 25 years, people start noticing you.

“The really nice thing about the OBE is that it’s the first prize where I didn’t have to give a speech and I didn’t have to sit there and wait to see if I won, I knew I would get it.”

The comedian and actor, who studied painting at the Glasgow School of Art between 1968 and 1972, returned to open his new Reid building in April 2014.

He then said his former tutors would “turn in the graves” if they knew he was opening the facility and admitted they would be “embarrassed” if any of them could see the work he produced as a “cheeky” student.

In the same interview with The Scotsman in April 2014, Coltrane also revealed that he was writing his memoirs after reaching a reflective stage in his life.

He said: “I am writing my bio right now.

“I just think I’ve lived such an interesting life. I have written three books, I have shot more than 700 hours of television, I have made 78 films, I have made many.

“I lived in New York, I was in Britain when the alternative comedy happened, I was in Tutti Frutti, I was in Cracker, I was lucky enough to be connected to a lot of really important moments in the drama, and then there’s Harry Potter, obviously.

Robbie Coltrane received an OBE in 2006 (Andrew Parsons / PA)

Robbie Coltrane received an OBE in 2006 (Andrew Parsons / PA)

Coltrane has won three Bafta for his work on Cracker and also won an Outstanding Award from Bafta Scotland in 2011.

In addition to acting and comedy, his talents have also extended to the voice of characters for animated films such as Brave in 2012, where his voice was used to give color to the character of Lord Dingwall. He was also the voice of the Gruffalo in the 2009 TV movie.

In some of the many television and film productions in which he has appeared, he has also brought his musical skills to the soundtrack.

His work on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, according to IMDB, described him as the “uncredited” performer on “Odo the Hero” in 2009.

He also performed in three episodes of Cracker and two episodes of the Alfresco TV series between 1983 and 1984.

In January 2015, he was taken to a Florida hospital after experiencing flu-like symptoms on a transatlantic flight.

He had traveled to Orlando for a Harry Potter celebration event at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park house.

Universal Studios said he was kept in the hospital overnight and his agent Belinda Wright said, “The prognosis is that he will be fine.”

After a hiatus from television, he returned to the small screen in 2016 for the Channel 4 drama National Treasure, where he played a comedian accused of raping a 15-year-old girl several years earlier.

Based on Operation Yewtree, Coltrane worked alongside Dame Julie Walters on the current affairs series that aired in Fall 2016.

In interviews about his appearance on the programs, he said he was “shocked” by allegations of historical abuse that surfaced on public figures during the police operation.

In his later years, he appeared less frequently in film and television, but returned to be interviewed for HBO’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: ​​Return To Hogwarts, where he talked about how his legacy of Hagrid would live long beyond. beyond him.

Speaking on the special, he said: “The legacy of movies is that my children’s generation will show it to their children, so you could easily watch it in 50 years.

“I won’t be here unfortunately … but Hagrid will be.”

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