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Robbie Coltrane, star of Cracker and Harry Potter, dies aged 72 | Robbie Coltrane


Robbie Coltrane, whose appearing profession spanned the whole lot from Bond movies to Cracker to Harry Potter, has died aged 72.

The information was confirmed by his agent on Friday.

Born Anthony Robert McMillan within the affluent Glaswegian suburb of Rutherglen, Coltrane was educated at Glenalmond Faculty, an impartial boarding college whose corporal punishment he described as “legalised violence”, earlier than going to the Glasgow Faculty of Artwork. He had second ideas about his capability as a painter, and switched to dwell efficiency, appearing in radical theatre corporations (together with a troupe from San Quentin State jail) and doing standup, taking the pseudonym Coltrane as homage to celebrated jazz musician John Coltrane.

His first display screen credit score was Waterloo Sundown, the Richard Eyre-directed Play for At present in 1979, during which he performed reverse Queenie Watts’s care-home escapee. Thereafter, he had small appearances in movies and TV reveals, together with Flash Gordon, Are You Being Served?, Krull and Britannia Hospital, his distinctive look and sheer measurement serving to him stand out from the gang. Coltrane’s comedy abilities started to take priority, as he discovered success within the early Nineteen Eighties in TV sketch reveals similar to Alfresco and A Kick Up the Eighties. These positioned him firmly within the college of 80s different comedy alongside Ben Elton, Emma Thompson and Rik Mayall – an identification bolstered by his common participation in Comedian Strip Presents movies together with such key entries as 5 Go Mad in Dorset, The Beat Era and The Bullshitters.

Nevertheless, Coltrane’s talents as an actor have been more and more in proof, and he had appreciable success in 1987 with Tutti Frutti, the John Byrne-scripted, Bafta-winning TV sequence a couple of washed-up Scottish rock’n’roll band. Coltrane discovered himself more and more wanted for greater roles in higher-profile tasks, from Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio (during which he performed a cardinal) to Falstaff in Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V. Nevertheless, it was two religious-themed comedy movies – Nuns on the Run and The Pope Should Die – that propelled Coltrane to leading-man standing, and put him on the map within the US.

Coltrane’s raised standing was confirmed by his casting because the prison psychologist “Fitz” Fitzgerald in Jimmy McGovern’s TV sequence Cracker, which first aired in 1993. A defiantly non-comic position, Fitzgerald was a groundbreaking creation: sensible at his job however a large number in his private life. Coltrane gained the most effective TV actor Bafta in 1994, 1995 and 1996 for the position. Fitzgerald’s addictive life-style additionally mirrored the actor’s: Coltrane admitted to being a heavy drinker within the Nineteen Eighties, and remained famously combative, as soon as threatening to beat up Piers Morgan in a London restaurant. He then discovered himself solid in two Bond movies, GoldenEye and The World Is Not Sufficient, as morally ambiguous KGB agent Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky.

Coltrane settled right into a mid-period profession of alternating roles in plush Hollywood productions (Message in a Bottle, From Hell, Ocean’s Twelve) with easygoing TV appearances (Alice in Wonderland, The Gruffalo). He additionally indulged his curiosity in classic vehicles within the 1997 sequence Coltrane’s Planes and Vehicles. Nevertheless, he discovered himself on the high of the listing for the casting of Hogwarts’ college caretaker Rubeus Hagrid within the movie adaptation of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter sequence. The primary within the sequence, Harry Potter and the Thinker’s Stone, was launched in 2001, and gained Coltrane a brand new viewers of youthful followers, and helped re-energise his profession, significantly on British TV. In 2009, he performed investigating detective DI Hain in David Pirie’s Murderland, and his efficiency as a TV star accused of sexual abuse within the 2016 Channel 4 present Nationwide Treasure was greeted with acclaim.

Coltrane married the sculptor Rhona Gemmell in 1999, however they separated in 2003. They’d two kids.

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