‘I won’t be here sadly, but Hagrid will’ – from Cracker to the bigger-than-life Harry Potter, Robbie Coltrane dominates the screen

Perhaps best known for his portrayal of Rubeus Hagrid in the eight Harry Potter films, Robbie Coltrane OBE is a larger-than-life character whose presence is instantly apparent every time he appears on screen. .

or Anthony Robert McMillan of Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, on 30 March 1950, Coltrane was the son of teacher and pianist Jean Ross and general practitioner Ian Baxter McMillan, and was educated at the independent school Glenalmond College in Perth and Kinross.

While there, he was head of the school’s debate committee and won art awards, which later motivated him to attend the Glasgow School of Art and Moray House Teachers College in Edinburgh.

Despite attending a private school, he called for them to be banned and adopted the nickname “Red Robbie” because of his association with the Labor Party and for his anti-conservative views, contrary to his upbringing.

One of three siblings, including older sister Annie and younger sister Jane, the death of his father when he was 19 years old had a huge impact on his life.

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

After working in theater and comedy, he landed a role in the BBC comedy series A Kick Up The Eighties, which earned him further roles in the films The Supergrass (1985) and The Pope Must Die (1991), and a series of sketch comedy shows.

He also appeared memorably as dictionary creator Samuel Johnson in Blackadder The Third in 1987 before reuniting with the cast for the 1988 Blackadder’s Christmas Carol special.

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

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

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

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

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The birth of their son Spencer happened in 1992 before their daughter, Alice, arrived in 1998. The actor lived in Killearn, in the Stirling Council area, and his wife was separated.

One of his most famous television roles came in the 1990s when he played Dr. Eddie “Fitz” Fitzgerald, a forensic psychologist in the television series Cracker (1993).

It wasn’t until his portrayal of KGB man Valentin Zukovsky in the Bond film Goldeneye (1995) that he became internationally known, having reprized the same character in The World Is Not Enough.

It led to him landing a role in the lucrative Harry Potter franchise for which he was personally handpicked by author JK Rowling, which resulted in appearing as Rubeus Hagrid in all eight films.

The 6ft 1ins actor is said to only take on the role of the giant after his children urged him to.

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

Then he said, “Once you’ve done anything for 25 years, people start to notice you.

“The really great thing about OBE is that it’s the first award where I don’t have to speak and I don’t have to sit around waiting to see if I win, I know I’m going to win it. . “

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

He later said his former tutors would “come to life” if they knew he was opening and admitted they would be “embarrassed” if any of them saw the impact. product that he created as a “cheeky” student.

In a similar interview with The Scotsman in April 2014, Coltrane also revealed that he was writing his own memoir after reaching a contemplative stage in his life.

“I am writing my biography at the moment,” he said.

“I just thought I lived such an interesting life. I’ve written three books, I’ve done over 700 hours of television, I’ve done 78 films, I’ve done a lot.

“I lived in New York, I was in the UK when the alternative comedy happened, I was in Tutti Frutti, I was in Cracker, I was fortunate enough to be connected to many of the moments that really mattered in the TV series, and then obviously there is Harry Potter. “

Coltrane has won three Baftas Awards for his work in Cracker and also won an outstanding achievement award from Bafta Scotland in 2011.

In addition to acting and comedy, his talents extend to voicing characters in animated films such as 2012’s Brave, where his voice was used to give the character Lord Dingwall color. . He also voiced Gruffalo in the 2009 TV series.

In some of the television and film productions in which he has been involved, he has also incorporated his musical skills into the soundtrack.

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

He also performed in three episodes of Cracker and two episodes of the television series Alfresco from 1983 to 1984.

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

He had come to Orlando to attend a Harry Potter celebration event at the home of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park.

Universal Studios said he was kept in 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 with the Channel 4 drama National Treasure, where he played a comedian accused of raping a 15-year-old girl a few years earlier.

Based on Operation Yewtree, Coltrane worked alongside Dame Julie Walters on the theme series that aired in the fall of 2016.

In interviews about his appearances on the shows, he said he was “appalled” by the historical abuse allegations that surfaced about public figures during the operation of the scene. close.

In the later years of his life, he made less film and television appearances, but returned to interview for HBO’s 20th Anniversary: ​​Return To Hogwarts – where he talked about his legacy as Hagrid How long will it last by your side?

Speaking of the special event, he said: “The legacy of the movies is that my generation will let their children see it, so you can watch it in 50 years’ time easily.

“I wouldn’t be here sad…but Hagrid would.”

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/movie-news/ill-not-be-here-sadly-but-hagrid-will-from-cracker-to-harry-potter-larger-than-life-robbie-coltrane-dominated-the-screen-42068061.html ‘I won’t be here sadly, but Hagrid will’ – from Cracker to the bigger-than-life Harry Potter, Robbie Coltrane dominates the screen

Fry Electronics Team

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