Robbie Coltrane dead at 72: what happened to Harry Potter actor? Cause of death explained and tributes

He was best-known for his portrayal of Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter franchise, as well as taking up other iconic roles such as Dr Eddie Fitzgerald in ITV’s crime drama Cracker

Actor Robbie Coltrane has died at the age of 72, his agent has confirmed.

The Scottish actor was famous for his iconic role of Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter franchise, with millions across the world connecting him with the loveable character to this day. He was also notable for his work in James Bond films GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough, as well as gaining recognition for his TV work in ITV’s crime drama Cracker.

Belinda Wright, Robbie’s agent of 40 year, confirmed the actor’s death. She described him as “unique talent”.

Actor Robbie Coltrane has died at the age of 72, his agent has confirmed. (Credit: Getty Images)

What happened to Robbie Coltrane?

In a statement, Wright said: “My client and friend Robbie Coltrane OBE passed away on Friday October 14. 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.

“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. Please respect Robbie’s family’s privacy at this distressing time.”

His cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

Who has paid tribute to Robbie Coltrane?

Robbie was one of the most celebrated actors of his generation, with his impact in both television and film felt far and wide. As a result, tributes from former co-stars, and admirers alike have come flooding in for the influential actor.

Actor and author Stephen Fry tweeted: “I first met Robbie Coltrane almost exactly 40 years ago. 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.”

Harry Potter author JK Rowling shared an image of the pair together on Twitter, along with the caption: “I’ll never know anyone remotely like Robbie again. He was an incredible talent, a complete one off, and I was beyond fortunate to know him, work with him and laugh my head off with him. I send my love and deepest condolences to his family, above all his children.”

Daniel Radcliffe, who played the titual character in the Harry Potter films, spoke warmly of his former co-star. Speaking to PA News Agency, he 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.

“I feel incredibly lucky that I got to meet and work with him and very sad that he’s passed. He was an incredible actor and a lovely man.”

James Phelps, who played Fred Weasley in the famous franchise, added: “I will miss the random chats about all subjects under the sun.And I’ll never forget in September 2000, Robbie Coltrane came over to a very nervous 14yr old me on my 1st ever day on a movie set and said “Enjoy it, you’ll be great”. Thank you for that x”.

Robbie also had a huge impact on the Scottish arm of the industry, becoming one of the most-recognisable actors from the country worldwide. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Very sad news. He had such range and depth as an actor, from brilliant comedy to hard-edged drama. I think my favourite of all his roles was Fitz in Cracker. Robbie Coltrane, Scottish entertainment legend - you will be hugely missed. RIP.”

What films and television shows was Robbie Coltrane in?

Robbie’s career spanned almost four decades. He made his first big breakthrough in the comedy sketch series ‘Alfesco’ alongside Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson.

He would go on to star in Tutti Frutti, again alongside Thompson. Robbie gained his first BAFTA nomination for his role in the 1987 miniseries, which told the story of Scottish rock’n’roll band The Majestics.

In 1993, he moved on to arguably one of his best-known roles - Dr Eddie ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald in the ITV crime drama Cracker. For is portrayal of the criminal psychologist, Robbie won the BAFTA for Best Actor three years in a row, matching the record set by Sir Michael Gambon.

More recently, his television work was celebrated once again after an acclaimed performance in Channel 4 drama National Treasure. He starred alongside Julie Walters in the 2016 show, and gain a further BAFTA nomination.

In between his television work, Robbie also made waves on the big screen. He gained worldwide recognition for his work in the role of Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky in the Pierce Broson-led James Bond films GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough.

Robbie Coltrane gained worldwide recognition for his role of Hagird in the Harry potter films. (Credit: Getty Images)

However, it wasn’t until 2001 that Robbie would take on the role that arguably defined his career for all generations. He first appeared as Rubeus Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Robbie would go on to play the loveable and charismatic character for a further seven films in the franchise.