'Harry Potter' cast pay tribute to Hagrid actor Robbie Coltrane

The beloved Scottish actor died on Friday aged 72

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The cast of Harry Potter have paid tribute to Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane, who died aged 72 on Friday.

Best known for playing Rubeus Hagrid, the giant groundskeeper at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in the films, Coltrane died at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, near Falkirk in Scotland.

Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter in the record-breaking franchise, said Coltrane was "one of the funniest people I’ve met".

"[He] used to keep us laughing constantly as kids on the set. I’ve especially fond memories of him keeping our spirits up on 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," Radcliffe said. "I feel incredibly lucky that I got to meet and work with him and very sad that he’s passed. He was an incredible actor and a lovely man.”

Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, posted on her Instagram Stories that Coltrane was "like the most fun uncle I’ve ever had".

"He was deeply caring and compassionate towards me as a child and an adult. His talent was so immense that it made sense he played a giant — he could fill any space with his brilliance," she said.

"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. 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.”

Robbie Coltrane with his OBE in 2006. PA Images

Sharing an old photo on his Instagram, actor Tom Felton, who played bully Draco Malfoy in the films, shared a heartfelt anecdote of Coltrane on set.

"One of my fondest memories of filming Harry Potter was a night shoot on the first film in the forbidden forest. I was 12. Robbie cared and looked after everyone around him. Effortlessly. And made them laugh. Effortlessly," he said. "He was a big friendly giant on screen but even more so In real life. Love you mate — thank you for everything."

Author JK Rowling said she will "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. I send my love and deepest condolences to his family, above all his children," she posted on Twitter.

Wizarding World, the official fan club of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts books and films, also paid tribute to Coltrane.

"We are hugely saddened to hear of the passing of the magnificent Robbie Coltrane who played Hagrid with such kindness, heart and humour in the Harry Potter films. He was a wonderful actor, a friend to all and he will be deeply missed," a representative tweeted.

Tributes also came in from twins James and Oliver Phelps, who played Fred and George Weasley respectively, and actress Bonnie Wright, who portrayed Ginny Weasley.

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

He later attended Glasgow School of Art and Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh and moved into acting in his twenties.

He starred alongside Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry and Dame Emma Thompson in the sketch series Alfresco in 1983 to 1984, and reunited with Dame Emma for the BBC miniseries Tutti Frutti where he played Big Jazza, for which he received his first Bafta nomination.

While he won three Bafta best actors for his role in the British crime drama Cracker in the 1990s, it was the Harry Potter films that earned him global fame and recognition.

Coltrane was appointed an OBE in the 2006 New Year Honours by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to drama.

“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," his agent of 40 years Belinda Wright said.

“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.”

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Updated: October 15, 2022, 6:03 AM