Dead People You Should Know: Robbie Coltrane

Robbie Coltrane was a marvelous man who sadly passed away on October 14, 2022, at 72, after having poor health years before his death. Best known as Hagrid in the "Harry Potter" franchise, Coltrane was loved by many for not only his movie roles but for the person he was.


Robbie Coltrane was born in the suburbs of Glasgow, Scotland, on March 30, 1950, to Jean and Ian McMillan. He was initially named Anthony Robert McMillan but changed it in the 1970s to show tribute to the famous jazz sax player John Coltrane. He attended the Glasgow School of Art and majored in film acting, drawing, and painting. He later studied art at Edinburgh's Moray House College.


Coltrane first joined the Harry Potter series as Rubious Hagrid in 2001. He played a crazy-haired, 8'6" half-giant who served as Hogwarts' resident Gamekeeper, Keeper of Keys and Grounds, and Magical Creatures professor. The ten years he spent making these magical movies endeared him as a warm, funny and loving character in the hearts of Potterheads everywhere. His dedication to the films helped make magic come to life on the screen and in children's imaginations everywhere. He also played roles in other great movies including "Brave," "The Tale of Despereaux," "National Lampoon's European Vacation," "The Gruffalo" and many more. In 2006, Queen Elizabeth II knighted Coltrane for his services to drama. 


As  Coltrane aged, he started to experience many different health problems, contributing to his recent death. Coltrane suffered from Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity but later got even sicker. Two years before his death, he experienced multiple organ failures complicated by sepsis. He also had lower respiratory tract infections and heart blockages. He said in 2016 that he was in "constant pain all day." Despite his ailments, Coltrane was always appreciative of the Potter franchise. In an interview, he said, "The legacy of the movies is that my children's generation will show them to their children. So you could be watching it in 50 years' time, easy. I'll not be here, sadly, but Hagrid will, yes." Robbie Coltrane was a marvelous man and will live on in his acting for many years.


Photo Courtesy of Flickr | License details Creator: Amy Muir | Credit: Amy Muir/EIFF Copyright: Amy Muir © EIFF, Edinburgh International Film Festival

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