“There is no Hogwarts without you, Hagrid.” The story goes for it Harry Potter creator JK Rowlingthere was no one better suited to portray gamekeeper and Keeper of Keys and Grounds of Hogwarts than Robbie Coltrane and that he was her top choice to play Hagrid from the start. The rest, they say, is history as the veteran Scottish-born actor will play Harry Potter’s sidekick in all 8 movies in the iconic franchise. Sadly, Robbie passed away on October 14, 2022, as confirmed by hollywood reporter, after a long battle with an unknown illness.
Fans around the world will remember him best in the iconic role, and it was something Robbie admitted he was most proud of in the Harry Potter 20th anniversary special. “The legacy of these movies is that my children’s generation will show them to their children,” he said with tears in his eyes. “So, you can watch them in 50 years, easily. I won’t be here unfortunately… But Hagrid will.” In the special it was clear how close he got to the cast of the films. He especially has a special moment with Emma Watson, who played Hermione, as they reflect on her growing up on screen. She also lamented that the beloved actor was ready to cause more “mischief” than any of the child actors, with Rupert Grint agreed that he was “such a child.”
Following the news of his passing, many of Robbie’s Potter co-stars were quick to pay tribute to their beloved friend, just as many did when other Potter icons passed away recently.
In the Harry Potter story, Hagrid is the first person to tell the young boy from Privet Drive that he is a wizard. Perhaps it makes sense then that one of the first stars to honor Robbie was the man behind the Boy Who Lived, Daniel Radcliffe. “Robbie was one of the funniest people I’ve ever met and used to make us kids laugh constantly on set,” she said in a statement, via Variety. “I have particularly good memories of him cheering us up on ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’, when we all hid in Hagrid’s hut for hours in the pouring rain and he told stories and made jokes to keep morale up. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to meet him and work with him and very sad that he has passed. He was an incredible actor and a lovely man.”
“Robbie was like the nicest uncle I’ve ever had,” writes Emma in her tribute on her Instagram Stories, “but above all he was deeply caring and compassionate towards me as a child and as an adult. His talent was so great that it made sense for him to play a giant who could fill any space with his brilliance. Robbie, if I can ever be as kind as you were to me on a film set, I promise I will do it in your name and memory. Know how much I adore and admire you. I will miss your sweetness, your nicknames, your warmth, your laughter and your hugs. You made us a family. No you were it for us. There was no better Hagrid. You made it a pleasure to be Hermione.”
He may have played the Dark Arts loving enemy of Harry Potter Draco Malfoy, but Tom Felton had nothing but love and light to send Robbie in his Instagram tribute. “One of my fondest memories of filming Harry Potter was a night shoot on the first film in the Forbidden Forest,” Tom wrote. “I was 12. Robbie cared and looked after everyone around him. Effortless. And make them laugh. Effortless. He was a big friendly giant on screen, but even more so in real life. Love your partner – thanks for everything”
I will never know anyone like Robbie again. He was an incredible talent, a complete one, and I was very lucky to know him, work with him and laugh my head off with him. I send my love and deepest condolences to his family, especially his children. pic.twitter.com/tzpln8hD9z
— JK Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 14, 2022
The author of the Harry Potter books adopted her Twitter shortly after hearing the news to pay tribute to the man who brought one of her most beloved characters to life on the big screen. Share shared an intimate, never-before-seen photo of them together at an elegant affair, dressed in their best. “I will never again know someone who is as distant as Robbie,” she wrote in the caption. “He was an incredible talent, a complete one, and I was very lucky to know him, work with him and laugh my head off with him. I send my love and deepest condolences to his family, especially his children.”
Robbie. Bobber. He called me Space Boy. We shared a love for the final frontier. He didn’t give a damn and it always made you smile. A giant, in more ways than one. We had x a few times
— 🇺🇦Matthew Lewis🇺🇦 (@Mattdavelewis) October 14, 2022
Playing fellow Gryffindor Neville Longbottom, Matthew Lewis spent a lot of time with Robbie, especially in the first two films. The actor looked back on the moments he spent with his ‘giant’ friend Twitter, saying: “He called me Space Boy. We shared a love for the final frontier. He didn’t give a damn and it always made you smile. A giant, in more ways than one. Sometimes we had.”
Bonnie Wright was just 9 years old when she first stepped into the role of Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter movies. It would take until her character enrolled at Hogwarts in The Chamber of Secrets for Bonnie to get the chance to work with Robbie, but the experience left an undeniable mark on her life. In her tribute to him on Instagram, the star shared her sadness, but also her thanks to the kind man who would look after the young stars in the movies. “Heartbroken by the passing of Robbie Coltrane,” she wrote. “Hagrid was my favorite character! Robbie so brilliantly portrayed Hagrid’s warmth, sense of home and unconditional love for his students and magical creatures. Robbie always treated me and my co-stars when we were little kids like equal professionals on a film set. A type of attitude that instilled confidence and a sense of togetherness. Thanks for all the laughs. Miss you Robbie. Sending love to your family. Rest in peace”
Oliver and James Phelps
I will miss the random chats on all subjects under the sun. And I’ll never forget in September 2000, Robbie Coltrane came up to a very nervous 14-year-old me on my first day on a film set and said, “Enjoy it, you’ll be great”. Thanks for that x
— James Phelps (@James_Phelps) October 14, 2022
From day 1 on movie 1, James Phelps played one half the prankster Weasley twins. As Fred, James was able to spend a lot of time with Robbie, especially in the first two movies. In his tribute to his Twitter page, to not only share his love for the actor, but to remember the sage advice he gave him the day they started filming the first Harry Potter movie. “I will miss the random chats about all subjects under the sun,” James wrote. “And I’ll never forget, in September 2000, Robbie Coltrane came up to a very nervous 14-year-old me on my first day ever on a film set and said, “Enjoy it, you’ll be great”. Thanks for that.”
November 2001 – Leicester Square, London. “Week it in guys, it’s like a Rolls-Royce for your first car”! Robbie Coleraine when he was next to me on the red carpet of the first HP premiere. Over the years we have had fun talking about history and travel. Rest in peace Robbie x
— Oliver Phelps (@OliverPhelps) October 14, 2022
Soon after, James’ brother Oliver, who played George Weasley, posted his own tribute to Robbie, hoping that his friend and mentor would rest in peace.
David Thewlis who portrayed Remus Lupine in the Harry Potter films, was quick to remember his friend for all the joy he brought to the set of the films. On his Instagram, he posted a loving tribute to his fellow Order of the Phoenix member. “The richest, most powerful and mischievous laugh on set was all largely Robbie’s fault. You are forever loved, dear person, and will be greatly missed.”
They played very different sides of the wizarding world: Robbie’s Hagrid was half-giant and larger than life, while Warwick Davis Ravenclaw leader Professor Flitwick was part goblin. But like everyone else, Warwick was devastated to hear the news of Robbie’s passing and paid tribute to him Twitter page. “I was sad to learn that man Harry Potter role player, Robbie Coltrane passed away today. Always jovial, he brought warmth, light and laughter to any set he stepped on. RIP Robbie, beloved giant of comedy.”
I first met Robbie Coltrane almost exactly 40 years ago. I was awe/terror/love struck at the same time. Such depth, power and talent: funny enough to cause helpless hiccups and hoots when we made our first TV show, “Alfresco”. Farewell, old fellow. You will be missed so terribly
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) October 14, 2022
Although the English actor was never in the Harry Potter films, Stephen Fry is one of the few who can say they “played” Hagrid with Robbie. Stephen narrated the UK editions of the Harry Potter audiobooks and also narrated three installments of the Harry Potter video games. Shortly after the announcement of Robbie’s death, Stephen took to his Twitter to celebrate his friend who co-starred in the show Alfesco.