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Robbie Coltrane, who played Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies, died on Oct. 14 at age 72. The actor spoke of his own death and Hagrid’s legacy just months ago on a TV reunion special. Here’s what Coltrane said about his role in the popular films and how he will live on through them.

Robbie Coltrane, who spoke of his death, and Harry Potter and Hagrid's legacy, months before he died.
Robbie Coltrane | Paul Zimmerman/WireImage

‘Harry Potter’ actor Robbie Coltrane died at age 72

Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane died on Oct. 14 in a hospital in Larbert, Scotland. His British agent, Belinda Wright, confirmed the news to The New York Times. Wright shared that Coltrane’s family did not disclose further details, including his cause of death, but said the actor had been “unwell for some time.” He was 72 years old. 

Coltrane is perhaps best known for portraying the beloved half-giant Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies based on the books by J.K. Rowling. He also starred in the cult British crime series Cracker. Coltrane appeared in the James Bond films GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough.

Robbie Coltrane spoke of his death and Hagrid’s legacy just months before he died

On Jan. 1, HBO Max released a TV reunion special called Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, 20 years after the release of the first Harry Potter film.

The program featured cast members Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Tom Felton, and Matthew Lewis. Robbie Coltrane, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Evanna Lynch, and Bonnie Wright also made appearances. 

Coltrane got misty-eyed when discussing Hagrid’s legacy on the TV special (per the Daily Record). “It’s the end of an era. 10 years of my life. My children have grown up during it,” he said of filming the iconic movies. 

He added, “The legacy of the movies is that my children’s generation will show them to their children … So you could be watching it in 50 years’ time, easily … I’ll not be here, sadly … but Hagrid will, yes.”


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Daniel Radcliffe paid tribute to his ‘Harry Potter’ co-star

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe, who played the titular character, paid tribute to Robbie Coltrane on the day of his death. 

“Robbie was one of the funniest people I’ve met and used to keep us laughing constantly as kids on the set,” Radcliffe said in a statement obtained by Deadline. “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.”

The statement echoes what the actor said about Coltrane on the HBO Max reunion special, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. “He loved making us laugh, and he was incredibly good at it,” Radcliffe recalled.