Robbie Coltrane had perhaps the most quotable line in all of the Harry Potter films. As Hagrid, he was the first person to tell the Boy Who Lived his magical future. “Yer a wizard, Harry,” was Robbie’s line and with 4 short words, he became an icon for a generation. And now that icon is gone. The veteran actor has died, his agency WME told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 72 years old.
For some, Robbie is known best as one of the mainstays of British television. His credits include Flash Gordon, Blackadder and Keep It in the Family, as well as A Kick Up the Eighties, The Comic Strip and Alfresco. For others, he will always be known as the half-giant Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, a role he played across all 8 films.
During the recent Harry Potter 20th anniversary special, Robbie reflected on his time playing the iconic character and admitted he was glad to leave a legacy behind that will be loved for generations. “The legacy of these movies is that my children’s generation will show them to their children. So, you could be watching them in 50 years’ time, easy.” he said. “I’ll not be here sadly… but Hagrid will.”
Born in Rutherglen, Scotland in 1950, Robbie’s birth name was Anthony Robert McMillan. He began his career as an actor in his 20s. He took his stage name from famed jazz musician John Coltrane. His first on-screen role came in 1979, when he was cast in an episode of the TV series Play For Today, per IMDb.
While his role as Hagrid has remained his most well-known and beloved performance, Harry Potter isn’t the only major franchise that Robbie starred in. He also had supporting roles as Valentin Zukovsky, a Russian gangster and former KGB officer, in the James Bond films Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough.
In recent years, Robbie had taken on fewer parts. His most recent credits included playing film legend Orson Welles in the series Urban Myths in 2019 and 2020 and a part in the 2016 miniseries National Treasure. He still occasionally reprised his role as Hagrid for various shorts, like the pre-show for the Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks.
Throughout his life, Robbie was only married once to Rhona Gemmel from 1999 to 2003. The pair had a son Spencer, 30, in 1992, and a daughter Alice, 24, born in 1998. Later in life, Robbie also struggled with osteoarthritis. He spoke about having a lack of cartilage in his knees and experienced regular pain from the condition. “I was fighting pain 24 hours a day when I was in National Treasure and Great Expectations,” he said in 2020, per Express.