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Robbie Coltrane

Coltrane in 2007
Anthony Robert McMillan

(1950-03-30)30 March 1950
Rutherglen, Scotland
Died 14 October 2022(2022-10-14) (aged 72)
Larbert, Scotland
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • writer
Years active 1978–2022
Height 185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
Rhona Gemmell
(m. 1999; div. 2003)
Children 2

Anthony Robert McMillan OBE (30 March 1950 – 14 October 2022), known professionally as Robbie Coltrane, was a Scottish actor, comedian and writer. He gained worldwide recognition as Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter film series (2001–2011), and as Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky in the James Bond films GoldenEye (1995) and The World Is Not Enough (1999). He was appointed as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2006 New Year Honours by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to drama. In 1990, Coltrane received the Evening Standard British Film Award – Peter Sellers Award for Comedy. In 2011, he was honoured for his "outstanding contribution" to film at the British Academy Scotland Awards.

He started his career appearing alongside Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, and Emma Thompson in the sketch series Alfresco (1983–1984). In 1987, he starred in the BBC miniseries Tutti Frutti alongside Thompson, for which he received his first British Academy Television Award for Best Actor nomination. Coltrane then gained national prominence starring as criminal psychologist Dr. Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald in the ITV television series Cracker (1993–2006), a role which saw him receive the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor in three consecutive years (1994 to 1996). In 2006, Coltrane came eleventh in ITV's poll of TV's 50 Greatest Stars, voted by the public. In 2016 he starred in the four-part Channel 4 series National Treasure alongside Julie Walters, a role for which he received a British Academy Television Award nomination.

Coltrane appeared in two films for George Harrison’s Handmade Films: the Neil Jordan neo-noir Mona Lisa (1987) with Bob Hoskins, and Nuns on the Run with Eric Idle. He also appeared in Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare adaptation Henry V (1989), the comedy Let It Ride (1989), Steven Soderbergh's crime-comedy thriller Ocean's Twelve (2004), Rian Johnson's caper film The Brothers Bloom (2008), Mike Newell's Dickens film adaptation Great Expectations (2012), and Emma Thompson's biographical film Effie Gray (2014). He was also known for his voice performances in the animated films The Tale of Despereaux (2008), and Pixar's Brave (2012).

Early life and education

Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan on 30 March 1950 in Rutherglen, Scotland, the son of Jean Ross Howie, a teacher and pianist, and Ian Baxter McMillan, a general practitioner who also served as a forensic police surgeon. He has an older sister, Annie, and a younger sister, Jane. Coltrane was the great-grandson of Scottish businessman Thomas W. Howie and the nephew of businessman Forbes Howie.

He started his education at Belmont House School in Newton Mearns before moving to Glenalmond College, an independent school in Perthshire. Though he later described his experiences there as deeply unhappy, he played for the rugby First XV, was head of the school's debating society and won prizes for his art. From Glenalmond, Coltrane went on to Glasgow School of Art, where he was ridiculed for "having an accent like Prince Charles" (which he quickly disposed of, though not before gaining the nickname "Lord Fauntleroy"), and thereafter Moray House College of Education (now part of the University of Edinburgh) in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Coltrane later called for private schools to be banned and used to be known as "Red Robbie", rebelling against his conservative upbringing through involvement with Amnesty International, Greenpeace, the Labour Party, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Personal life

Coltrane married Rhona Gemmell on 11 December 1999. The couple have two children: son Spencer (b. 1992), and daughter Alice (b. 1998). Coltrane and Gemmell separated in 2003 and later divorced.

Coltrane suffered from osteoarthritis. Coltrane died at the age of 72 at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert on 14 October 2022, after having been in ill health for two years.


Year Title Role Notes
1980 Flash Gordon Man at airfield
Death Watch Limousine Driver
1981 Subway Riders Crime Detective
1982 Britannia Hospital Striking worker on picket line Cameo role
1983 Ghost Dance George
Krull Rhun
1984 Chinese Boxes Harwood
1985 National Lampoon's European Vacation Man in bathroom
Supergrass, TheThe Supergrass Det. Sgt. Troy
Defence of the Realm Leo McAskey
1986 Caravaggio Scipione
Mona Lisa Thomas
1987 Eat the Rich Jeremy
1988 Fruit Machine, TheThe Fruit Machine Annabelle
1989 Henry V Falstaff
Bert Rigby, You're a Fool Sid Trample
Let It Ride Ticket Seller
Danny, the Champion of the World Victor Hazell
Slipstream Montclaire
1990 Midnight Breaks Fat
Nuns on the Run Charlie McManus
Sister Inviolata
Perfectly Normal Alonzo Turner
1991 Pope Must Die, TheThe Pope Must Die The Pope
Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole Steffano Baccardi
1992 Oh, What a Night Todd
1993 Boswell & Johnson's Tour of the Western Isles Dr. Samuel Johnson
Adventures of Huck Finn, TheThe Adventures of Huck Finn Duke
1995 GoldenEye Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky
1997 Buddy Dr. Bill Lintz
1998 Frogs for Snakes Al
Montana The Boss
1999 World Is Not Enough, TheThe World Is Not Enough Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky
Message in a Bottle Charlie Toschi
2001 On the Nose Delaney
From Hell Sergeant Peter Godley
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Rubeus Hagrid
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Ocean's Twelve Matsui
Van Helsing: The London Assignment Mr. Hyde Voice
Van Helsing
2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Rubeus Hagrid
2006 Stormbreaker The Prime Minister
Provoked Lord Edward Foster
2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Rubeus Hagrid
2008 Tale of Despereaux, TheThe Tale of Despereaux Gregory Voice
Brothers Bloom, TheThe Brothers Bloom The Curator
2009 Gooby Gooby Voice
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Rubeus Hagrid
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Cameo
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
2012 Brave Lord Dingwall Voice
Great Expectations Mr. Jaggers
2014 Effie Gray Doctor


Year Title Role Notes
1979 Play for Today Jimmie "Waterloo Sunset"
1980 The Lost Tribe Border Post Guard "Keep Us Alive"
1981 Metal Mickey Jason "Mickey the Demon Barber"
1981 Keep It in the Family Mr. Conway "A Matter of Principle"
1982 Sin on Saturday Himself 3 episodes
1982 The Young Ones (Series 1) Slobber Episode 2 "Oil"
1982–2012 The Comic Strip Presents... Various roles Special: "Five Go Mad in Dorset"

Series 1–5 Director & co-writer: Series 5, Episode 6 "Jealousy" (1993)

1983 Are You Being Served C.B. Voice Voice; Episode: "Calling All Customers"
Alfresco Various roles 13 episodes
1984 A Kick Up the Eighties (Series 2) Various roles Replaced Richard Stilgoe. Writer credits.
1984 Laugh??? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee Various roles Writer credits.
1984 The Young Ones (Series 2) Dr Carlisle (Ep. 1), Captain Blood (Ep. 4) Episode 1 "Bambi" & Episode 4 "Time"
1985–86 Saturday Live Various roles Pilot show ("On The Waterfront" film spoof)
Show 10 ("The Third Man" film spoof)
1987 Blackadder the Third Samuel Johnson Episode 2 "Ink and Incapability"
1987 Tutti Frutti Danny McGlone 6 episodes
1988 Friday Night Live Various roles
including "Uncle Don Corleone"
Show 6
1988 Blackadder's Christmas Carol The Spirit of Christmas Christmas special
1989 The Robbie Coltrane Special Himself LWT comedy Special; co-writer
1991 Screen One Psychiatrist Liam Kane Episode: "Alive And Kicking"
1992 The Bogie Man Francis Forbes Clunie TV film
1993 The Legend of Lochnagar The old man TV film, voice
Coltrane in a Cadillac Himself 4-part documentary
1993–2006 Cracker Dr. Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald 25 episodes
1997 Coltrane's Planes and Automobiles Himself 6-part documentary
1998 Ebb-Tide, TheThe Ebb-Tide Capt. Chisholm
1999 Alice in Wonderland Ned Tweedledum
2003 Comic Relief: The Big Hair Do Hagrid
2003 The Planman Jack Lennox QC
2004 Pride James
2004 Frasier Michael Moon Episode: "Goodnight, Seattle"
2005 Still Game Davie Series 4, Episode 3: "Dial-A-Bus"
2006 Cracker: Nine Eleven Dr. Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald Television movie
2007 Robbie Coltrane – B Road Britain Himself TV Documentary
2009 Murderland D.I. Douglas Hain
2009 The Gruffalo The Gruffalo Short; Voice
2011 Lead Balloon Donald Series 4 Episode 4: "Off"
Series 4 Episode 5: "Blade"
Series 4 Episode 6: "End"
50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments Himself Narrator
The Gruffalo's Child The Gruffalo Voice; Short
2013 The Many Faces of Robbie Coltrane Himself TV documentary
2016 National Treasure Paul Finchley 4-part TV drama
2016–18 Robbie Coltrane Critical Evidence Host True crime, non fiction
2019–20 Urban Myths Orson Welles Episode: "Orson Welles In Norwich"
2022 Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts Himself HBO Max Special


Year Title Role Notes
1978 The Slab Boys Jack Hogg Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
1980 Threads Performer Hampstead Theatre, London

Awards and honours

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1987 British Academy Television Award Best Actor Tutti Frutti Nominated
1994 Cracker Won
1995 Won
1996 Won
1996 Royal Television Society Award Best Actor - Male Won
1996 Broadcasting Press Guild Award Best Actor Won
2001 British Academy Film Award Best Actor in a Supporting Role Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Nominated
2001 Saturn Award Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2002 Phoenix Film Critics Society Award Best Ensemble Acting Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Nominated
2016 British Academy Television Award Best Actor National Treasure Nominated
2016 Royal Television Society Award Best Actor – Male Won
2016 Monte-Carlo Television Festival Outstanding Actor in a Mini Series Won
2016 Broadcasting Press Guild Award Best Actor Won

Honorary Awards

  • Coltrane won the Evening Standard British Film Award – Peter Sellers Award for Comedy 1990.
  • He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2006 New Year Honours for his services to drama.
  • In 2011, he was honoured for his "outstanding contribution" to film as the British Academy Scotland Awards ("BAFTA Scotland Awards").

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See also

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