Robbie Coltrane, actor who played Hagrid in Harry Potter films, died aged 72, The Hollywood Reporter says. An eccentric actor, Coltrane was famous for his performance in the British crime series Cracker apart from the Harry Potter films. 

Robbie Coltrane was born on March 30, 1950. His real name was Anthony Robert Macmillan. The son of a doctor and a teacher, Coltrane graduated from Glasgow Arts School and subsequently joined Moray House College of Education in Edinburgh. 

Coltrane’s artistic endeavours did not bear much fruit. He then made a switch to stand-up comedy performing in Edinburgh clubs. When he turned to acting in London, he changed his last name to Coltrane in honour of the legendary jazz musician John Coltrane.

Starting out in television, Coltrane’s credits include Flash Gordon, Blackadder and Keep It in the Family. Soon, he became a mainstay in British television, acting in A Kick Up the Eighties and The Comic Strip. His first break, however, was with Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry and Emma Thomson, in a sketch series titled Alfresco (1983-84). 

Breakthrough for Coltrane came with his character in Jimmy McGovern’s Cracker series where he plays Edward ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald, an anti-social criminal psychologist who solves crime. The show ran for over 25 episodes between 1993 and 2006. 

What gave Coltrane global renown, were the Harry Potter films, in which he plays Hagrid the Giant. He also made his way into two James Bond films playing Valentin Zukovsky in Golden Eye and The World is Not Enough. 

Recently, Coltrane reprised his role as Hagrid for Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. Coltrane’s autobiography is titled Coltrane in a Cadillac. He acted in a TV series of the same name back in 1993 where he drove across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City in a classic 1951 Cadillac.