Robbie Coltrane, an actor well admired for his portrayal as Hagrid in the Harry Potter series, has died at the age of 72. Hagrid was the character for which he was best known. Even though the famed comedian and character actor had a long list of credits to his name, there was a time when it wasn’t even certain that he’d make it as an actor on screen at all.
Robbie suffered from a variety of health issues in his latter years, despite the fact that he had a successful career overall.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at the life of the Scottish actor.
Becoming proficient and successful is always something that should be a goal for any line of work, regardless of the profession. Unsurprisingly, the same thing is true for actors. Success can come in many different ways, of course.
Success for some people means appearing in some of the most costly and complicated shows, while it may be a dream for others to work with a certain director. Some people might want to play a certain role, while others just want to make as much money as they can.
For Robbie Coltrane, the most important things were having fun and being inspired. It would seem that the Scottish actor never intended to have a career in the entertainment industry in the first place.
Anthony McMillan was born on March 30, 1950, in Rutherglen, a town near Glasgow, Scotland. As a child, Coltrane was surrounded by creative people. Jean Ross, his mother, was a musician who also taught the piano professionally. His father, Ian, was a doctor who worked for the police department as a surgeon.
Coltrane was brought up in a household that belonged to the middle class, but later in life he turned his back on that lifestyle. He enrolled in Glenalmond College, which is often compared to the prestigious elite education institution Eton in the UK. There, however, Coltrane discovered that he did not like the strict regulations and discipline that were applied.
In 2012, Coltrane said in an interview with The Guardian that “basically, I didn’t accept the hierarchy.”
Robbie didn’t really like the rules that were enforced at Glenalmond College, but he was captain of the school’s debating team and played rugby for the school’s athletic teams. Most significantly, he discovered that he had a significant passion for art, which resulted in his being awarded a number of prizes.
Coltrane eventually decided to leave, so he went to art school in Glasgow where he studied drawing, painting, and film. He went on to spend a year studying art at Edinburgh’s Moray House College of Education, where he was teased for sounding too sophisticated.
Interestingly, despite the fact that his creative talent was clearly recognized by prizes and awards, he quickly realized that art wasn’t his main area of interest.
“When I visited my graduation show, I said, “This is not what was going on in my thoughts. It was a horrible feeling. The ideas were not there on the canvas at all,” Robbie recalled.
Coltrane at that time made the decision to pursue acting as a career. While still in school, he had already been in a few minor projects (he actually made his stage debut at age 12 at Glenalmond College, delivering lines from Henry V). His documentary, Young Mental Health, won the Scottish Education Council’s 1973 Film of the Year award.
Because he no longer liked using his birth name, Anthony McMillan, he decided to change it to Coltrane and start a new chapter in his life. He was fascinated by Marlon Brando and Orson Welles as a child, but he was also highly inspired by his mother’s work as a musician.
Coltrane originally performed stand-up comedy in Edinburgh venues. He worked part-time jobs and performed with local theatrical groups while at Edinburgh Fringe.
Coltrane debuted on TV in 1980 with The Lost Tribe. He starred in La Mort en Direct that year. He also appeared in Alfresco with Emma Thompson․
Coltrane’s major break came in 1986 in “Mona Lisa”. A year later, he was nominated for a BAFTA for Tutti Frutti.
Coltrane’s career didn’t follow the traditional path of ascent to the top, which is typical for the majority of acting careers. Robbie left comedy after two failures, Nuns on the Run and The Pope Must Die.
At the same time, he was also fighting an inner battle. Coltrane had gained weight and had drinking issues, and his friends worried about him. This was one of the reasons why his relationship with the artist Robin Paine, whom he had met while in art school, ended.
In 1986, he enrolled himself into a clinic in Mexico and began attending a program there to get treatment for his obesity.
Robbie’s life had been going in the wrong direction for a time, but he was finally able to get things back on track. In the 1990s, he starred in the crime drama Cracker, which showed the world what a great actor he was. Three years in a row, he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor, and in 1995, a larger audience would first see him in a new character.
Coltrane’s most well-known roles were as Russian mafia leader Valentin Zukovsky in the James Bond movies Golden Eye and The World Is Not Enough. The most important of all of his movies, however, was about to come out, and it would permanently alter his life and legacy.
Robbie was given the role of Hagrid, the half-giant wizard, in the Harry Potter film series. Coltrane hit a home run with the first Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, which came out in 2000.
Coltrane repeated his role as Hagrid in all of the Harry Potter films and received a BAFTA Award nomination for his work in the first movie.
Coltrane’s legacy was cemented, and he was also doing well in his personal life. He met Rhona Gemmel, whom he married in 1999, and finally got a handle on his unhealthy habits. The couple raised their two children, Spencer and Alice, in a remote farmhouse near Loch Lomond in Scotland. Additionally, his success as Hagrid brought him financial gain.
Coltrane received almost $200,000 for playing a part in the first Harry Potter movie, according to Net Worth Celebrities. His earnings from the third movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, were over $900,000.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011), the last movie in the Harry Potter series, reportedly earned him $1.2 million. Coltrane had a $4 million reported net worth at the time of his death, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
Robbie and his wife Rhona split in the middle of the success story around Harry Potter. Sadly, this once again led him down a dangerous road of bad habits, but he was able to keep trying and finally overcome it.
Coltrane’s career continued beyond the Harry Potter movies, earning him a number of other roles. Sadly, he struggled with health issues in his latter years.
Robbie struggled from osteoarthritis, and the pain in his knees forced him to use a wheelchair. Coltrane said before his death that he was basically disabled and “constantly in pain.” In 2016, the actor told the Daily Star that osteoarthritis made it hard for him to move around. Four years later, in an interview with the Express, Coltrane said that he was “fighting pain 24 hours a day.”
Even though experts and scientists don’t really know what causes osteoarthritis, the Mayo Clinic says that being overweight, having diabetes, having a family history of the disease, and being older are all risk factors.
Osteoarthritis can start with mild symptoms like pain in the hands, knees, neck, or lower back. But as the disease gets worse, it can make it hard to move around, cause swelling, and change the shape of bones.
Robbie left this world on October 14, when he was 72 years old. Friends and family of the father and actor told him how much they loved him, and many of his beloved co-stars from the Harry Potter movies also paid tribute to him.
The reason why Robbie Coltrane died has not been found yet. According to the most recent story from Deadline, however, his health has been declining for the last two years. He passed away in a hospital close to his home in Larbert, Scotland, and his family released a statement expressing their gratitude to the personnel at Forth Valley Royal Hospital for the care they gave for Robbie before he passed away.
Rest in peace, Robbie Coltrane.
If you enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, please share this article on Facebook with your friends and family.