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Remembering Robbie Coltrane — the Half-Giant Wizard That Stole Our Hearts

Robbie Coltrane, best known for his role as the half-giant wizard Hagrid in Harry Potter, left us at age 72. However, as he once said, even though he might not be here one day, his legacy — Hagrid — will always be with us.

Robbie started his acting career in his early 20s.

Mary Evans/AF Archive/David Gadd./East News

He, however, didn’t become prominent until 1981, at age 31, when he appeared in the sketch comedy A Kick Up the Eighties. Coltrane then appeared in Alfresco, starring alongside Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, and Emma Thompson. In 1987, he earned his first British Academy Television Award for Best Actor nomination for the BBC miniseries Tutti Frutti.

Throughout his career, Robbie has won 3 BAFTA TV Awards for best actor, 1 Outstanding Achievement Award, 2 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, 1 CableACE award, 1 Peter Sellers Award for Comedy, 1 Golden Nymph, and 2 RTS Television Awards.

He was only married once, but unfortunately, his marriage didn’t have a happy ending.

Mary Evans/AF Archive/Graham Whitby Boot./East News

In 1999, Robbie tied the knot with his long-term girlfriend Rhona Gemmell with who he already had 2 children. However, their marriage didn’t last long, and they divorced in 2003.

Robbie had a really hard time dealing with his emotions after the divorce, but he eventually found love again. Even though he was a private romantic, in 2020, he revealed that he has a woman by his side who he was seeing for the past 12 years.

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Throughout his fruitful career, Robbie has starred in more than 90 movies and TV Shows.

Jon Palmer / MediaPunch/Associated Press/East News

Coltrane’s most memorable roles were in Cracker, Van Helsing, Ocean’s Twelve, Fraiser, and many others. However, none of them could compete with his role in Harry Potter as Hagrid — the half-giant wizard who stole fans’ hearts only a few minutes into the movie. Hagrid is one of the most beloved characters in Harry Potter, both among children and adults, and the stream of letters Robbie received from fans every week for over 20 years is one more proof of that.

Robbie really enjoyed playing Hagrid.

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He loved his role because he played a good guy who was very protective of Harry. Coltrane also loved Hagrid’s pink umbrella because he doesn’t often see an 8.6 ft man carrying a pink umbrella. In an interview, Coltrane opened up that he has countless happy memories from filming the Harry Potter movies, and he loved seeing the kids grow up in front of his eyes.

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For the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts special Robbie shared some poignant wisdom that will forever stay engraved in our memory: “The legacy of the movies is that my children’s generation will show them to their children. You can be watching it in 50 years’ time, easy. I’ll not be here, sadly. But Hagrid will. Yes.”

His Harry Potter co-stars paid a heartfelt tribute after Robbie’s passing, and we can see that he was not only their older co-star but their family as well.

“Robbie was one of the funniest people I’ve met and used to keep us laughing constantly as kids on the set. I’ve especially fond memories of him keeping our spirits up on Prisoner of Azkaban when we were all hiding from the torrential rain for hours in Hagrid’s hut and he was telling stories and cracking jokes to keep morale up. I feel incredibly lucky that I got to meet and work with him and very sad that he’s passed. He was an incredible actor and a lovely man,” wrote Daniel Radcliffe.

“Robbie was like the most fun uncle I’ve ever had, but most of all he was deeply caring, and compassionate towards me as a child and an adult. His talent was so immense it made sense he played a giant. He could fill ANY space with his brilliance. You made us a family. Know you were that to us,” Emma Watson wrote in her Instagram story.

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“Robbie portrayed Hagrid’s warmth, sense of home, and unconditional love for his students and magical creatures so brilliantly. Robbie always treated me and my fellow cast mates when we were wee kids like equal professionals on a film set. A type of attitude that instilled confidence and a sense of togetherness. Thanks for all the laughter,” wrote Bonnie Wright.

“We shared a love of the final frontier. A giant, in more ways than one,” wrote Matthew Lewis.

What will you remember Robbie for?

Preview photo credit Mary Evans/AF Archive/David Gadd./East News, EAST NEWS
Bright Side/People/Remembering Robbie Coltrane — the Half-Giant Wizard That Stole Our Hearts
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