Though you could recall legendary actor Robbie Coltrane for many of the roles on his impressive resume, his portrayal of Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies is quite possibly the most lovable. Showcasing firm resolve, tempered by warm wisdom and kindness, Hogwarts’ groundskeeper became Coltrane’s claim to fame late in his career. That knowledge is bittersweet today, as Robbie Coltrane has died at age 72.
The actor’s agent broke the news to Deadline, who reported that the star of many notable TV and movie projects had been in poor health for some time. No cause of death was provided, just the knowledge that Robbie Coltrane had been in the hospital, close to home in Scotland.
While his career did span various properties that saw him hold iconic roles, both supporting and starring, Coltrane was always comfortable with the fact that Rubeus Hagrid would be one of the most powerful impressions he left on pop culture. Nowhere was that better felt than in his emotional remarks during the Harry Potter reunion special, shown below:
Robbie Coltrane was one of the already established actors that helped make the Harry Potter cast such a star-studded affair. Previously, he’d been a part of such smash hits as the Black Adder series with Rowan Atkinson, as well as anchoring his own mystery-drama franchise through the titular role on TV’s Cracker. Upon being cast as Hagrid in 2001's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Coltrane's already iconic career would become even brighter.
In fact, that character would become so honored within the franchise that he would get his own theme park attraction, Hagrid's Motorbike Adventure. Even with J.K Rowling’s Wizarding World saga on his dance card, Robbie Coltrane continued to entertain audiences in everything, from his cameo in Ocean’s 12 to a voice role in Disney/Pixar’s Brave. Of course, those familiar with the James Bond movies will remember another character from the man’s storied resume.
Playing Russian gangster Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky, Robbie Coltrane appeared in two of Pierce Brosnan’s 007 adventures. Showing up in both 1995’s Goldeneye and 1999’s The World is Not Enough, Robbie Coltrane was a playful antagonist whom you were never sure was going to kill Bond or come to his aid. The chemistry between Brosnan and Coltrane helped keep things light, even in the face of danger.
The legacy of range that Robbie Coltrane leaves behind is a great gift to his fans. Whether they’re familiar with his work outside of Harry Potter or are influenced to check out more of his credits in his honor, one cannot deny that the man's heart was in his work.
As the man himself said, while he may no longer be with us, special moments involving Hagrid and his other memorable roles always will be there. CinemaBlend would like to extend their deepest condolences to the family and friends of Robbie Coltrane as they navigate this time of grief and memory.
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Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.