JK Rowling Knew He Had to Be Hagrid

British actor Robbie Coltrane from the Harry Potter movies is dead at 72
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2022 2:05 PM CDT

Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane has died at the age of 72, and while he had a long and successful career, US audiences will surely remember him best as Hagrid from the Harry Potter movies. Coltrane died in a Scottish hospital, and no cause of death was immediately provided, reports the AP. He is survived by his sister Annie Rae, his ex-wife Rhona Gemmell, and his children Spencer and Alice. Some coverage from his obituaries:

  • JK knew: Deadline relates this anecdote about his being cast as the half-giant gameskeeper in the Potter films. Author JK Rowling "had Coltrane at the top of her list to play Hagrid and, when asked whom she would like to see in the role, responded, 'Robbie Coltrane for Hagrid' in one quick breath."

  • Earlier success: Coltrane first rose to fame in the 1990s in the UK for his role as crime-solving psychologist Dr. Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald in the series Cracker, per Variety. He won three British Academy Television awards.
  • Other roles: He had roles in movies including the James Bond flicks GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough, as well as Oceans 12, Nuns on the Run, and Mona Lisa, and in the series National Treasure.
  • Name change: Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan, but he changed his last name to Coltrane in tribute to jazz legend John Coltrane, per the Hollywood Reporter.
(Read other notable obituaries.)

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