Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane has died at age 72, sparking a deluge of heartbroken tributes from stars around the globe.
The late actor, known for playing the gentle giant Hagrid in the Harry Potter film series, reportedly passed away on Friday the 14th of October, though the cause of death was not revealed.
His agent and friend of 40 years, Belinda Wright, called Coltrane “a unique talent.”
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“He will probably be best remembered for decades to come as Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, a role which brought joy to children and adults alike all over the world, prompting a stream of fan letters every week for over 20 years,” she said in a statement.
“For me personally I shall remember him as an abidingly loyal client… as well as being a wonderful actor, he was forensically intelligent… brilliantly witty. And after 40 years of being proud to be called his agent, I shall miss him.”
In her statement, she also thanked the medical staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, near his home in Scotland, for their “care and diplomacy”.
Deadline reports that the actor had “been in ill health for the past two years.”
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Many of Coltrane’s co-stars have paid tribute to the James Bond and Harry Potter star.
Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe told People in a statement that Coltrane “was one of the funniest people I’ve met and used to keep us laughing constantly as kids on the set.
“I’ve especially fond memories of him keeping our spirits up on (2004’s Harry Potter and the) Prisoner of Azkaban, when we were all hiding from the torrential rain for hours in Hagrid’s hut and he was telling stories and cracking jokes to keep morale up.”
He says he “feel(s) incredibly lucky that” he “got to meet and work with” Coltrane, adding that he’s “very sad that he’s passed.”
“He was an incredible actor and a lovely man,” said the 33-year-old actor.
Co-star Emma Watson, the actress behind Hermione Granger, penned a statement on Instagram following news of Coltrane’s death.
“Robbie was like the most fun uncle I’ve ever had but most of all he was deeply caring, and compassionate towards me as a child and an adult,” Watson said. “His talent was so immense it made sense he played a giant – he could fill ANY space with his brilliance.”
“Robbie, if I ever get to be so kind as you were to me on a film set I promise I’ll do it in your name and memory,” Watson continued in her post.
“Know how much I adore and admire you. I’ll really miss your sweetness, your nicknames, your warmth, your laughs and your hugs. You made us a family. Know you were that to us.
“There was no better Hagrid. You made it a joy to be Hermione.”
James Phelps, who played one half of the mischievous Weasley twins, Fred, wrote on Twitter “I will miss the random chats about all subjects under the sun. And I’ll never forget in September 2000, Robbie Coltrane came over to a very nervous 14yr old me on my 1st ever day on a movie set and said ‘Enjoy it, you’ll be great’. Thank you for that x.”
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Actress Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley, shared her thoughts in a poignant message.
“Robbie portrayed Hagrid’s warmth, sense of home and unconditional love for his students and magical creatures so brilliantly,” she wrote.
“Thanks for all the love and laughter. Miss you Robbie. Sending love to your family.”
Author JK Rowling also spoke out on Twitter.
“I’ll never know anyone remotely like Robbie again. He was an incredible talent, a complete one off, and I was beyond fortunate to know him, work with him and laugh my head off with him,” she wrote.
“I send my love and deepest condolences to his family, above all his children.”
Stephen Fry, who acted with Coltrane in a short sketch comedy TV series Alfresco, back in the 80s, also posted his condolences to Twitter.
“I first met Robbie Coltrane almost exactly 40 years ago. I was awe/terror/love struck all at the same time. Such depth, power & talent: funny enough to cause helpless hiccups & honking as we made our first TV show, ‘Alfresco,'” he wrote, “Farewell, old fellow.”
Coltrane reflected on his legacy as Rubeus Hagrid in Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, which aired earlier this year. Not only was he Harry’s first introduction to the wizarding world, he was also a welcoming hand to the audience as they delved into a magical film franchise that spanned 10 years over eight films.
“I just think it’s an end of an era. It’s 10 years of my life, my children have grown up during it,” he said in the special.
“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.”
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