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Also Known As: Anthony Robert Mcmillan Died:
Born: March 30, 1950 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: United Kingdom Profession: actor, comedian, director, screenwriter, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Although an accomplished comic performer, Scottish-born actor Robbie Coltrane also delivered a number of superlative dramatic parts, perhaps none more acclaimed than his starring turn as the excessive and obsessive forensic psychologist in the British series "Cracker" (BBC, 1993-96; 2006). Prior to winning awards for portraying the hard-drinking and womanizing investigator, Coltrane staked his claim in outlandish and irreverent comedies like "Nuns on the Run" (1990) and "The Pope Must Die" (1991), both of which featured slapstick physical comedy atop subtle digs at the Catholic Church. He was equally adept in dramatic turns, ably playing Russian gangsters in two James Bond installments, "Goldeneye" (1995) and "The World Is Not Enough" (1999), while portraying a dogged Scotland Yard detective opposite Johnny Depp in "From Hell" (2001). But it was his sweet-natured turn as the bumbling, angry and fiercely loyal Hagrid in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001) - and all of the subsequent sequels - that propelled the multifaceted Coltrane into the international spotlight and introduced the talented performer to a new generation of fans.Born on March 31, 1950 in Rutherglen, Glasgow, Scotland,...

Although an accomplished comic performer, Scottish-born actor Robbie Coltrane also delivered a number of superlative dramatic parts, perhaps none more acclaimed than his starring turn as the excessive and obsessive forensic psychologist in the British series "Cracker" (BBC, 1993-96; 2006). Prior to winning awards for portraying the hard-drinking and womanizing investigator, Coltrane staked his claim in outlandish and irreverent comedies like "Nuns on the Run" (1990) and "The Pope Must Die" (1991), both of which featured slapstick physical comedy atop subtle digs at the Catholic Church. He was equally adept in dramatic turns, ably playing Russian gangsters in two James Bond installments, "Goldeneye" (1995) and "The World Is Not Enough" (1999), while portraying a dogged Scotland Yard detective opposite Johnny Depp in "From Hell" (2001). But it was his sweet-natured turn as the bumbling, angry and fiercely loyal Hagrid in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001) - and all of the subsequent sequels - that propelled the multifaceted Coltrane into the international spotlight and introduced the talented performer to a new generation of fans.

Born on March 31, 1950 in Rutherglen, Glasgow, Scotland, Coltrane was raised the middle of three children by his father, Ian, a general practitioner and police surgeon who determined cause of death on crime scenes, and his mother, Jean, a teacher. During his youth, he used comedy to deflect the taunts of his schoolmates, as well as dispel any potential disciplinary action from authority figures - parents included - when he got into trouble. Coltrane's penchant for unruly behavior was evident in his youth, which led his parents to send him off to the strict Glenalmond School in Perthshire. Though he got on well enough with his mates, Coltrane had a miserable time, which he sought to alleviate by pulling numerous pranks - like stealing the prefects' gowns and hanging them from the clock tower - that almost led to expulsion. He did, however, have several notable achievements, including becoming head of the debate society, winning an award for his artwork and playing rugby. Constant beatings at the hands of the school's prefects only reinforced Coltrane's rebellious, anti-establishment attitude.

After seeing the bohemian lifestyle of older sister, Annie, who was studying graphic art in Edinburgh, Coltrane indulged his passionate interests and decided to become an artist. He attended the Glasgow School of Art, where he studied painting, drawing and film. But he soon realized that his acceptable talents were no match for his gargantuan artistic ambitions, which led to attending the Moray House School of Education with the idea of becoming an art teacher. But after a year at the school, as well as losing most of his art in a fire, Coltrane ditched pursuing an art career; instead deciding to become an actor - a notion he had entertained since adolescence after seeing Marlon Brando in "The Wild One" (1953) and appearing in a school production of "Henry V." With renewed purpose, the actor - who changed his surname from McMillan to Coltrane in tribute to jazz musician John Coltrane - began honing his craft on stage, including appearances in John Byrne's "The Slab Boys" and "Cuttin' the Rug." At the same time, Coltrane put his comedic gifts to use by developing a stand-up act at local nightclubs.

In 1973, Coltrane made a 50-minute documentary titled "Young Mental Health" that was voted film of the year by the Scottish Educational Council, earning him substantial notice. Meanwhile, he suffered a sudden and tragic personal loss when his younger sister, Jane, who was manic depressive and indulgent with drugs and alcohol, swallowed a handful of pills after a hard night of drinking and died of an overdose. Coltrane was staggered by the loss and remained tight-lipped about her death from that moment on. He did shoulder on with acting while, at the same time, imbibing in drugs and alcohol himself. He made his acting debut in "Deathwatch" (1980), director Bernard Tavernier's sci-fi thriller about a man from the future (Harvey Keitel) who journeys to the past to probe the subconscious of a dying woman (Romy Schneider). Coltrane put his comedic skills to good use on the small screen, landing roles on British-made shows like the sketch comedy "A Kick Up the Eighties" (BBC, 1981-84), which also starred Tracey Ullman, "The Comic Strip Presents" (BBC, 1982-2005) and the short-lived "Alfresco" (ITV, 1983-84), which also featured Emma Thompson.

On the big screen, Coltrane had his first major role as a police detective tracking a killer in "Subway Riders" (1981), directed by Amos Poe. He next appeared in the strange "Ghost Dance" (1983), an overly talky avant-garde film that used a fictional narrative to explore the belief in ghosts and its effect on psychology, philosophy and cinema. Coltrane returned to more straightforward features with small parts in "Krull" (1983) and "Loose Connections" (1983), which he followed with a dramatic turn in the twisting psychological "Chinese Boxes" (1984). He had smaller roles opposite Chevy Chase in "National Lampoon's European Vacation" (1985) and Al Pacino in the forgettable historical epic, "Revolution" (1985). Coltrane earned notice for his turn as Bob Hoskins' mechanic pal in "Mona Lisa" (1986) and as a corrupt cardinal in the Derek Jarman-directed "Caravaggio" (1986), both of which displayed his dramatic gifts. He played famed British author Dr. Samuel Johnson in "Blackadder the Third: Ink and Incapability" (BBC, 1987), a historical sitcom starring Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson and Hugh Laurie, which he followed with a turn as the Spirit of Christmas in "Blackadder's Christmas Carol" (BBC, 1988).

By this point in his career, Coltrane was a popular figure in the United Kingdom who easily oscillated between comedy and drama. After appearing in Carl Reiner's raunchy musical comedy, "Bert Rigby, You're a Fool" (1989), he was the obvious choice for Kenneth Branagh to cast as the rotund, boisterous rogue Sir John Falstaff in the acclaimed film adaptation of "Henry V" (1989). As the next decade dawned, Coltrane turned in a finely honed comedic performance in "Nuns on the Run" (1990), playing a petty criminal who poses as a sister of the cloth with his partner-in-crime (Eric Idle) in order to hide out in a convent with stolen loot from a violent gang. In "The Pope Must Die" (1991), Coltrane portrayed the new pontiff who becomes a target for murder. After an unnoticed supporting role in the forgettable coming-of-age drama "Oh, What a Night" (1992), he earned critical acclaim for playing Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald, a foul-mouthed, alcoholic, chain-smoking, womanizing criminal psychologist who, despite it all, is brilliant at his job in "Cracker." For his work, Coltrane won three consecutive Best Television Actor BAFTAs.

Thanks to the awards he amassed for the series, Coltrane began landing bigger and better film and television gigs, while also finding the time to pursue more personal projects. He was featured as the Duke in "The Adventures of Huck Finn" (1993) and was the subject of "Coltrane in a Cadillac" (1993), a documentation of his cross-country road trip from Los Angeles to New York. After a small role as a Russian gangster in "Goldeneye" (1995), he was the husband of a wealthy, eccentric woman (Rene Russo) who raises a zoo of animals in her New York apartment, including a rather large and difficult gorilla, in "Buddy" (1997). Coltrane next put his love of automobiles and fixing engines to use in "Coltrane's Planes and Automobiles" (1997), in which he examined the history of mechanized transportation, while demonstrating its effectiveness through rebuilding several engines. In "Montana" (1998), he was the boss of a hit woman (Kyra Sedgwick) who is the target of the organization she works for. Following a turn as an American newspaper editor in "Message in a Bottle" (1999), he was a Russian Mafia boss who lends a hand to James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) in "The World Is Not Enough" (1999).

As the new millennium dawned, Coltrane was about to become a bigger star than he had ever imagined. In "From Hell" (2001), he was a Scotland Yard detective who works with an unorthodox partner (Johnny Depp) in trying to find London's most notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Coltrane was again perfectly cast as Rubeus Hagrid in the long-awaited and much-anticipated adaptation of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone" (2001). As the 8'6" half-human, half-giant who helps Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) adjust to his new life at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Coltrane portrayed Hagrid as slightly bumbling, earnest and fiercely loyal to his protégé. Over the course of the next decade, he reprised Hagrid in all the ensuing sequels - "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004), "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (2005) and "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007).

Throughout his run in the exceedingly popular and financially successful "Harry Potter" series, Coltrane continued to appear in a variety of film and television projects. He provided the threatening voice of the monstrous, CGI-created Mr. Hyde in "Van Helsing" (2004), which he reprised in the animated "Van Helsing: The London Assignment" (2004). Following a small turn in "Ocean's Twelve" (2004), he was the Prime Minister of England in the adaptation of Anthony Horowitz's "Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker" (2006). Coltrane reprised Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald for "Cracker: A New Terror" (BBC, 2006), which saw the hard-living investigator tracking down a possible murder suspect fueled by his rage at America's handling of terrorism. Returning to voiceover work, he joined an all-star cast that included Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Sigourney Weaver and Tracey Ullman for "The Tales of Despereaux" (2008). Meanwhile, Coltrane reprised Hagrid yet again for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (2009), the sixth installment of the film series which promised to be darker than its predecessors.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Effie Gray (2014)
2.
3.
 Brave (2012)
4.
 Arthur Christmas (2011)
9.
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in the Glasgow, Scotland area
1962:
Made stage debut in a school production of Shakespeare's "Henry V"
:
Decided to attend art school after visiting his older sister and getting on with her friends
1973:
Adopted stage surname of "Coltrane" after the jazz musician John Coltrane
1973:
Produced and directed the 50-minute documentary "Young Mental Health"
:
Worked with various theater companies such as San Quentin Theatre Group, The Bush Theatre and Traverse Theatre
:
While appearing at Traverse Theatre, was befriended by playwright John Byrne; acted in Byrne's "The Slab Boys" and "Cuttin' the Rug"
:
Began appearing in nightclubs as a stand-up comic
1979:
Made screen acting debut in Bernard Tavernier's "La Mort en Direct/Deathwatch"
1980:
Appeared as a gay hairdresser on the British series "Metal Mickey" (ITV)
1981:
Featured in Amos Poe's "Subway Riders" as Detective Fritz Langley
1982:
Gained notice for appearing on the British show "The Comic Strip Presents"; also wrote and directed sketches
1983:
Appeared with Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie. and Stephen Fry on the comedy sketch show "Alfresco" (ITV)
1983:
Landed featured role in the sci-fi film "Krull"
1985:
Co-starred in "The Supergrass," a crime comedy drawn from characters from "The Comic Strip Presents"
1986:
Cast as a cardinal in Derek Jarman's "Caravaggio"
1986:
Portrayed Bob Hoskins' mechanic friend Thomas in "Mona Lisa"
1987:
Had stage triumph in "Yr. Obedient Servant," a one-man show about Dr. Samuel Johnson
1987:
Starred opposite Emma Thompson on the BBC series "Tutti Frutti"; an edited version was released theatrically
1989:
Headlined the London Weekend Television program "The Robbie Coltrane Special"
1989:
Played Sir John Falstaff in Kenneth Branagh's "Hervy V"
1989:
Co-wrote a sketch and made guest appearances on Emma Thompson's BBC variety series "Thompson" (aired in the U.S. on PBS)
1990:
Co-starred with Eric Idle in "Nuns on the Run"
1991:
Portrayed an unlikely pontiff in the screen comedy "The Pope Must Die/The Pope Must Diet"
1993:
Teamed with Jason Robards (as the Duke and the King) in a remake of "The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn"
1993:
Starred in the British TV special "Coltrane in a Cadillac"
1993:
Starred in British crime series "Cracker" (shown in the US on A&E)
1995:
Featured as a Russian gangster in the James Bond film "GoldenEye"
1997:
Headlined the British TV special "Coltrane's Planes and Automobiles"
1997:
Portrayed the husband of an eccentric woman who raises a gorilla in "Buddy"
1998:
Starred as the ship's captain in "The Ebb-Tide" (A&E)
1998:
Featured as Barbara Hershey's ex-husband in the quirky "Frogs for Snakes"; re-teamed with Amos Poe
1999:
Reprised role as Russian gangster for his second Bond film "The World Is Not Enough"
1999:
Cast as Tweedledum to George Wendt's Tweedledee in the NBC TV-movie "Alice in Wonderland"
2001:
Appeared as a Scottish detective tracking Jack the Ripper in "From Hell"
2001:
Played the giant groundskeeper Rubeus Hagrid in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"; adapted from the first novel of the best-selling fantasy series by J.K. Rowling
2002:
Reprised Hagrid in the sequel "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets"
2004:
Reprised the role of Hagrid in the third installment of the Harry Potter series "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban"
2012:
Joined all-star ensemble in "Ocean's Twelve"
2005:
Reprised the role of Hagrid in "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," the fourth book in the fantasy series directed by Mike Newell
2006:
Cast in the feature adaptation of "Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker," the first novel in the Alex Rider series
2007:
Cast opposite Miranda Richardson and Aishwarya Rai in "Provoked"
2007:
Reprised the role of Hagrid in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," adapted from the fifth book in the fantasy series
2009:
Reprised role of Hagrid for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," the sixth book in the fantasy series directed by David Yates
2010:
Made final appearances as Hagrid in the seventh feature installment of the Harry Potter franchise, released in two parts "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
2012:
Voiced Lord Dingwall in Disney Pixar animated feature "Brave"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Glenalmond College: -
Glasgow School of Art: -
Moray House School of Education: -

Notes

On working in America, Coltrane cracked: "I'm unrecognized and just the fat a-- in the Chevy outside Kmart". Quoted in USA Today, May 19, 1997.

"There is a kind of recklessness about Glasgow which I find missing in a lot of places. Actually, this is why I feel at home [in New York]. It's that same sort of, 'Oh, what the hell! Come on, let's have a drink, what's the matter with you!' I love that," --Robbie Coltrane to TV Guide, August 3, 1996.

About his character of Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald, Coltrane to Entertainment Weekly (February 3, 1995): "People find the fact that he's given in to all these temptations quite attractive. They're fed up with people who are ridiculously handsome and work out all the time and live on berries and fruits and never swear,"

"I'm a big fan of Richard Harris ... I once did a chat show with him. It turned out to be about hell-raisers.

"A hell-raiser is basically an alcoholic heterosexual, so I qualified. I didn't realize that was the subtext. I thought how flattering, to be on with such big stars." --Coltrane to the London Sunday Times Magazine, October 7, 2001.

When asked to describe what kind of hell he raised, Coltrane responded: "I had lots of fun. I'd been broke for a long time, and suddenly I had money in the bank and was famous. It went to my head. It happens to everybody and I think it's short-lived, really. I had an adolescence from 1968 to 1988." -- From the London Sunday Times Magazine, October 7, 2001.

"I've been lucky. I think if I lost weight, I'd have a face like Mick Jagger's. You could run a bicycle down my cheeks and it wouldn't move. Don't they say you can get a good face or a good ass but not both?" --Coltrane on his size, quoted in the London Sunday Times Magazine, October 7, 2001.

On celebrity and the media, Coltrane told the London Sunday Times Magazine (October 7, 2001): "The celebrity circuit has never been too attractive to me. You're thrown into a room with 300 other people, one of whom once did a chocolate ad, one presented a children's programme, one murdered his mother. You think, what are we supposed to have in common? You stand there with a drink, people throw Elle Macpherson at you and have photographs taken, and flog them to people who imagine you're having a wonderful life.

"Of course, you should be wary of the sort of attention you attract, because it doesn't stop. People are so unembarrassed about being intrusive. They see you sitting there with your friends, having a quiet time, and they come up and go, 'Oi, you. Robbie. Eh.' You wouldn't do that. would you?"

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Robin Paine. Artist. Together from 1972 to 1987.
wife:
Rhona Gemmell. Sculptor. Born c. 1969; met on Christmas Eve 1988; together from 1989; married on December 11, 1999; mother of Coltrane's two children; seperated April 2003.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Ian McMillan. Doctor. Was a general practitioner; also served as a police surgeon; died of lung cancer when Coltrane was in his teens.
mother:
Jean McMillan. Teacher.
sister:
Annie McMillan. Artist. Older.
sister:
Jane McMillan. Younger; died of an overdose at age 21 in 1976; was attending York University at the time.
son:
Spencer Coltrane. Born c. 1993; named after Spencer Tracy; has bit role in "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"; mother, Rhona Gemmell.
daughter:
Alice Coltrane. Mother, Rhona Gemmell.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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