Robbie Coltrane, the actor who brought to life the lovable gamekeeper Hagrid in the Harry Potter film franchise, died on Friday, according to his agent, Scott Henderson. He was 72.
The Scottish-born actor’s other credits included the British series “Cracker” and James Bond films “GoldenEye” and “The World Is Not Enough.”
No details on the cause of death were immediately provided.
Coltrane’s agent Belinda Wright said he died Friday at a hospital in his native Scotland, and but did not immediately other details. She called him “forensically intelligent” and “brilliantly witty” in just one of many tributes made to him.
“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, who decades ago had said Coltrane was her first choice to play Hagrid, tweeted Friday that he was “an incredible talent, a complete one off.”
“I was beyond fortunate to know him, work with him and laugh my head off with him,” she wrote.
Born Anthony Robert McMillan in Rutherglen, Scotland, Coltrane was in his early 20s when he began pursuing an acting career and renamed himself in honor of jazz musician John Coltrane.
He already had a notable screen career, with credits including “Mona Lisa,” “Nuns on the Run” and Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of “Henry V” when he broke through on his own as a hard-bitten detective in “Cracker,” the 1990s TV series for which he won best actor at the British Academy Television Awards three years running.
He went on to appear in all eight “Harry Potter” movies as the young wizard’s mentor and had a wide variety of other parts, including a Russian crime boss in the James Bond thrillers “GoldenEye” and “The World is Not Enough” and Pip’s guardian Mr. Jaggers in a 2012 adaptation of Dickens’ “Great Expectations.”
Coltrane reunited with Thompson on the six-part drama series “Tutti Frutti,” for which he earned his first best actor British Academy Television Award nomination.
His first win would be for the television series “Cracker” in the ’90s. That series, a crime drama, ran for three seasons from 1993-95, with two subsequent specials.
The role of Hagrid, a half-giant, half-human character, was a natural one for Coltrane. He knew and loved the books because he read them to his children, he recalled in one interview.
More recently, he received rave reviews for playing a beloved TV star who may harbor a dark secret in the 2016 miniseries “National Treasure.”
On Friday, his “Nuns on the Run” co-star Eric Idle tweeted that he had been talking about Coltrane, “wondering where he was,” when he learned of his death.
“Such a bright and brilliant man. A consummate actor, an extraordinarily funny comedian and an amazing actor. He was also a very good friend,” Idle wrote.
“Everybody in the world would like a really big, huge, strong, good man on their side, simple as that. That’s the attraction of Superman and these things,” he said. “Hagrid was always obviously the good guy, wasn’t he?”
Coltrane is survived by his children, Spencer and Alice; their mother, Rhona Gemmell and his sister Annie Rae, according to a statement from his UK agent, Belinda Wright.