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Robbie Coltrane, OBE (born 30 March 1950) is a Scottish actor, comedian and author. He is most widely known for his role as Dr Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald in the British TV series Cracker. He also plays the role of Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter films.

Early life

Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan in Rutherglenmarker, South Lanarkshire, the son of Jean McMillan Ross (née 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 late younger sister, Jane. Coltrane is the great-grandson of Scottish businessman Thomas W. Howie. He was educated at the prestigious Glenalmond College in Perthshiremarker, from which he was nearly expelled after hanging the prefects' gowns from the school clocktower. Though he later described his experiences there as deeply unhappy, he played for the 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 Artmarker, 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 then the Moray House College Of Educationmarker in Edinburghmarker. Coltrane later called for public 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.

Career

Coltrane moved into acting in his early twenties, taking the stage name Coltrane (in tribute to jazz saxophonist John Coltrane) and working in theatre and stand-up comedy. Appearing in the 1981 BBC television comedy series A Kick Up the Eighties, his comic skills also brought him roles in the The Comic Strip Presents (1982) series and the comedy sketch shows Alfresco (1983-1984) and Laugh??? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee (1984).

A young Robbie Coltrane waiting to play a role in a period film at Doune Castle
Coltrane soon moved into films, obtaining roles in a number of movies such as Flash Gordon (1980), Death Watch (1980), Scrubbers (1983), Krull (1983), The Supergrass (1985), Absolute Beginners (1986), Mona Lisa (1986) and appeared as "Annabelle" in The Fruit Machine (1988). On television, he also appeared in The Young Ones, Tutti Frutti (1987), as Samuel Johnson in Blackadder (1987) (a role he later reprised in the more serious Boswell and Johnson's Tour of the Western Islands (1993)), and in a number of stand-up and sketch comedy shows. He played the part of Falstaff in Kenneth Branagh's Henry V (1989) He co-starred with Eric Idle in Nuns on the Run (1990), and played the Pope in The Pope Must Die (1991). He also played a would-be private detective obsessed with Humphrey Bogart in the TV play The Bogie Man. His roles went from strength to strength in the 1990s with the TV series Cracker (1993-1996, 2006 one-off special) and a BAFTA award as the stepping stone to parts in bigger films such as the James Bond films GoldenEye (1995) and The World Is Not Enough (1999) and a major supporting role in From Hell (2001) as well as half-giant Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter films (2001-2011). J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has stated that she created the character of Hagrid based on Coltrane's likeness.

Coltrane has also presented a number of popular documentary programmes for the British ITV network based around his twin passions for travel and transportation.

"Coltrane in a Cadillac" (1993) saw him cross North America from Los Angeles toNew York behind the wheel of a 1951 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe Convertible, a journey of 3,765 miles (6,059 kilometres) which he completed in 32 days.

In 1997 Coltrane appeared in a series of six programs under the title "Coltrane's Planes and Automobiles" in which he extolled the virtues of a number of engineering achievements, namely the Steam Engine, the Diesel Engine, the Supercharger, the V8 Engine, the Two Stroke engine, and the Jet Engine. In these programs he showed he was not afraid to get his hands dirty, getting involved with dismantling and rebuilding several engines. He also single-handledly removed the engine from a Trabant car in 23 minutes.

In August 2007, Coltrane presented a series for ITV called "B-Road Britain" in which he travelled from London to Glasgow, stopping in at quirky towns and villages along the way.

Coltrane was voted No. 10 in ITV's "TV's 50 Greatest Stars" and sixth in a poll of 2000 adults across the UK to find the 'most famous Scot', behind the Loch Ness Monster, Robert Burns, Sean Connery, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace.

Personal life

Coltrane lives in Killearnmarker, Stirling. He is separated from his wife, and is the father of two children, Spencer and Alice.

Filmography

Year Movie Role Notes and Awards
1980 Flash Gordon Man at air field
1983 Ghost Dance George
Krull Rhun
1985 National Lampoon's European Vacation Man in bathroom
1985 The Supergrass Det. Sgt. Troy
1986 Caravaggio Scipio
1987 Eat the Rich Jeremy
1988 The Fruit Machine Annabelle
1989 Henry V Falstaff
Bert Rigby, You're a Fool Sid Temple
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 The 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
The Adventures of Huck Finn Duke
1995 GoldenEye Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky
1997 Buddy Dr. Bill Lintz
1998 Frogs for Snakes Al
Montana The Boss
1999 The World Is Not Enough Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky
Message in a Bottle Charlie Toschi
2001 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Rubeus Hagrid Sorcerer's Stone in US
On the Nose Delaney
From Hell Sergeant Peter Godley
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Rubeus Hagrid
2004 Ocean's Twelve Matsui
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Rubeus Hagrid
Van Helsing: The London Assignment Mr. Hyde voice
Van Helsing Mr. Hyde voice
2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Rubeus Hagrid
2006 Stormbreaker Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Provoked Lord Edward Foster
2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Rubeus Hagrid
2008 The Tale of Despereaux Gregory voice
The Brothers Bloom The Curator
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Rubeus Hagrid
Gooby Gooby voice
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1983 Are You Being Served Dynamite Truck Driver on CB Radio Mrs. Slocombe causes a crash
1987 Blackadder the Third Samuel Johnson
Tutti Frutti Danny McGlone
1988 Blackadder's Christmas Carol The Spirit of Christmas
1990 Danny Champion of the World Victor Hazell
1993-2007 Cracker Dr. Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald
1998 The Ebb-Tide Capt. Chisholm
1999 Alice in Wonderland Ned Tweedledum
2001 Thomas and Friends Toad the Great Western Brakevan voice
2003 Comic Relief: The Big Hair Do Hagrid
The Planman Jack Lennox QC
2004 Pride James
2004 Frasier Michael Moon Series Finalé: Part 1
2005 Still Game Davie Season 4 Episode 3: Dial-A-Bus
2006 Cracker: Nine Eleven Dr. Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald
2009 Murderland D.I. Douglas Hain


Awards

Year Organisation Award Film Result
2002 BAFTA Awards Best Supporting Actor Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Won


References

  1. Robbie Coltrane Biography (1950-)
  2. BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Robbie Coltrane's magical career
  3. Robbie Coltrane Biography - Yahoo! Movies
  4. Robbie Coltrane biography
  5. Robbie Coltrane Quotes, Best of Robbie Coltrane Quotes Collection at MaxAbout.com
  6. 'Hagrid? I'm just Dad' - Telegraph
  7. Scotland on Sunday


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