Harry Potter and Cracker actor Robbie Coltrane has died aged 72.
The Scottish-born star, known for playing the Hogwarts gamekeeper Hagrid in the Potter film franchise and criminal psychologist Dr Eddie ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald in the 1990s TV crime drama, died on Friday.
In a statement, his agent of 40 years, Belinda Wright, said the actor will probably be best remembered as Hagrid, which led to a “stream of fan letters every week for over 20 years”.
She described Coltrane, whose real name was Anthony Robert McMillan, as a “wonderful actor” and “forensically intelligent”.
Coltrane won the best actor gong at the British Academy Television Awards three years running for his role in Cracker and was made an OBE in the 2006 New Year Honours list.
His agent did not give details on his death – but said Coltrane’s family thanked the team at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert for their care.
‘A complete one-off’
Tributes have flooded in for the actor, as Harry Potter author JK Rowling tweeted an image with Coltrane and said: “I’ll never know anyone remotely like Robbie again. He was an incredible talent, a complete one off.”
Coltrane’s role in all eight of the Potter films arguably became his best known.
Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as Harry Potter, said: “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.”
While James Phelps, who played Fred Weasley, said he will miss the “random chats about all subjects under the sun”.
Coltrane’s ‘talent knew no bounds’
James Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli also paid tribute to Coltrane, who starred as Valentin Zukovsky in Bond films GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough.
They described him as an “exceptional actor”, adding that “his talents knew no bounds”.
While Stephen Fry, who starred with Coltrane in the comedy series Alfresco and narrated the British version of the Harry Potter audiobooks, said the actor will be “dreadfully missed”.
Fry said he met Coltrane almost 40 years ago and added: “Such depth, power & talent: funny enough to cause helpless hiccups & honking as we made our first TV show, Alfresco.”
‘A Scottish entertainment legend’
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called Coltrane a “Scottish entertainment legend” and said he will be “hugely missed”.
Actor Robert Lindsay, who starred alongside Coltrane in the 1989 film Bert Rigby, You’re a Fool paid tribute to his “dear pal”, adding: “We shared a Hollywood journey that will live with me forever.”
Coltrane was born in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire and attended Glasgow School of Art and Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh.
He is survived by his sister Annie Rae, his children Spencer and Alice and their mother Rhona Gemmell.