Robbie Coltrane

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Robbie Coltrane
Robbiecoltranecrop.jpg
Coltrane in April 2007
Born Anthony Robert McMillan
(1950-03-30) 30 March 1950 (age 64)
Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Occupation Actor, comedian and author
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Rhona Gemmell (1999–present)
Children 2

Robbie Coltrane, OBE (born Anthony Robert McMillan; 30 March 1950) is a Scottish actor, comedian and author. He is known for his roles as Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, as Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky in the James Bond films GoldenEye and The World Is Not Enough and as Dr. Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald in the British TV series Cracker during the 1990s.

Early life and education[edit]

Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, 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.[1][2][3] He has an older sister, Annie, and a younger sister, Jane. Coltrane is the great-grandson of Scottish businessman Thomas W. Howie.

He was educated at Glenalmond College, an independent school in Perthshire, 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 rugby First XV, was head of the school's debating society and won prizes for his art.[4] From Glenalmond, Coltrane went on to Glasgow School of Art, 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 thereafter the Moray House College of Education (part of the University of Edinburgh) in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Coltrane later called for public schools to be banned and used to be known as "Red Robbie",[5] rebelling against his conservative upbringing through involvement with Amnesty International, Greenpeace, the Labour Party, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Career[edit]

Coltrane in costume in the 1980s

Coltrane moved into acting in his early twenties, taking the stage name Coltrane (in tribute to jazz saxophonist John Coltrane)[6] 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).

Coltrane soon moved into films, obtaining roles in movies such as Flash Gordon (1980), Death Watch (1980), Scrubbers (1983), Krull (1983), The Supergrass (1985), Defence of the Realm (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, returning in 2006 for a one-off special), in which he starred as forensic psychologist Dr. Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald.[7] The role won him three BAFTA awards.

After that, he gained roles in bigger films, such as the James Bond films GoldenEye (1995) and The World Is Not Enough (1999), 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, had Coltrane at the top of her list to play Hagrid and, when asked who she would like to see in the role, responded “Robbie Coltrane for Hagrid” in one quick breath.[8][9]

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 to New York behind the wheel of a 1951 Cadillac Series 62 coupe convertible, a journey of 3,765 miles (6,059 km) which he completed in 32 days.

In 1997, Coltrane appeared in a series of six programmes 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 programmes, he dismantled and rebuilt several engines. He also single-handedly 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 towns and villages along the way.

Coltrane was voted No. 11 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[edit]

Coltrane married Rhona Gemmell on 11 December 1999. The couple have two children, Spencer and Alice.

Filmography and awards[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1980 Flash Gordon Man at air field
1980 Death Watch Limousine Driver
1982 Britannia Hospital Striking worker on picket line Non-speaking role
1983 Ghost Dance George
1983 Krull Rhun
1984 Chinese Boxes Harwood
1985 National Lampoon's European Vacation Man in bathroom
1985 Supergrass, TheThe Supergrass Det. Sgt. Troy
1985 Defence of the Realm Leo McAskey
1986 Caravaggio Scipio
1986 Mona Lisa Thomas
1987 Eat the Rich Jeremy
1988 Fruit Machine, TheThe Fruit Machine Annabelle
1989 Henry V Falstaff
1989 Bert Rigby, You're a Fool Sid Trample
1989 Let It Ride Ticket Seller
1989 Danny, the Champion of the World Victor Hazell
1989 Slipstream Montclaire
1990 Midnight Breaks Fat
1990 Nuns on the Run Charlie McManus/Sister Inviolata
1990 Perfectly Normal Alonzo Turner
1991 Pope Must Die, TheThe Pope Must Die The Pope
1991 Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole Steffano Baccardi
1992 Oh, What a Night Todd Nominated - Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
1993 Boswell & Johnson's Tour of the Western Isles Dr. Samuel Johnson
1993 Adventures of Huck Finn, TheThe Adventures of Huck Finn Duke
1995 GoldenEye Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky
1997 Buddy Dr. Bill Lintz
1998 Frogs for Snakes Al
1998 Montana The Boss
1999 World Is Not Enough, TheThe World Is Not Enough Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky
1999 Message in a Bottle Charlie Toschi
2001 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Rubeus Hagrid Sorcerer's Stone in US
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
2001 On the Nose Delaney
2001 From Hell Sergeant Peter Godley
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Rubeus Hagrid Nominated - Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Ensemble Acting
2004 Ocean's Twelve Matsui
2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Rubeus Hagrid
2004 Van Helsing: The London Assignment Mr. Hyde voice
2004 Van Helsing Mr. Hyde voice
2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Rubeus Hagrid
2006 Stormbreaker Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
2006 Provoked Lord Edward Foster
2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Rubeus Hagrid
2008 Tale of Despereaux, TheThe Tale of Despereaux Gregory voice
2008 Brothers Bloom, TheThe Brothers Bloom The Curator
2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Rubeus Hagrid
2009 Gooby Gooby voice
2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Rubeus Hagrid
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Rubeus Hagrid
2012 Brave Lord Dingwall voice
Great Expectations Mr. Jaggers Released 30 November 2012
2014 Effie Doctor Scheduled for May 2014 release

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1979 Play for Today Jimmie "Waterloo Sunset"
1980 The Lost Tribe Border Post Guard "Keep Us Alive"
1981 Metal Mickey Jason "Mickey the Demon Barber"
1981–1984 A Kick Up the Eighties All ten episodes
1981 Keep It in the Family Mr. Conway "A Matter of Principle"
1982 Sin on Saturday
1983 Are You Being Served Dynamite Truck Driver on CB Radio "Mrs. Slocombe causes a crash"
Alfresco various
1984 The Young Ones Doctor in Episode "Bambi", Bouncer in Episode "Oil"
1987 Blackadder the Third Samuel Johnson "Ink and Incapability"
1987 Tutti Frutti Danny McGlone Nominated - British Academy Television Award for Best Actor
1988 Blackadder's Christmas Carol The Spirit of Christmas
1989 The Robbie Coltrane Special LWT comedy Special[10]
1990 Danny Champion of the World Victor Hazell
1993–1995
1996
2006
Cracker Dr. Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald Three British Academy Television Awards for Best Actor (1994, 1995 and 1996)
Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Actor
Royal Television Society Award for Best Actor - Male
Nominated - CableACE Award for Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries
For episode "Brotherly Love" (parts I, II and III).
1997 Coltrane's Planes and Automobiles 6-part Documentary
1998 Ebb-Tide, TheThe Ebb-Tide Capt. Chisholm
1999 Alice in Wonderland Ned Tweedledum
2003 Comic Relief: The Big Hair Do Hagrid
2003 The Planman Jack Lennox QC
2004 Pride James
2004 Frasier Michael Moon "Goodnight, Seattle"
2005 Still Game Davie Season 4 Episode 3: "Dial-A-Bus"
2006 Cracker: Nine Eleven Dr. Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald
2007 Robbie Coltrane - B Road Britain TV Documentary
2009 Murderland D.I. Douglas Hain
2009 The Gruffalo The Gruffalo TV film (Children's), voice
2011 Lead Balloon Donald Series 4 Episode 4: "Off"
Series 4 Episode 5: "Blade"
Series 4 Episode 6: "End"
50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments Himself Narrator
The Gruffalo Child[11] The Gruffalo TV film (Children's), voice

Other Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Robbie Coltrane Biography (1950-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  2. ^ "Robbie Coltrane's magical career". BBC News. 31 December 2005. 
  3. ^ "Robbie Coltrane Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  4. ^ "Robbie Coltrane biography". Tiscali.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  5. ^ Paton, Maureen (20 March 2003). "'Hagrid? I'm just Dad'". London: Telegraph. 
  6. ^ "Scotland on Sunday". Scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  7. ^ "Dr Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald". Crackertv.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  8. ^ "j.k. rowling". Neatorama. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  9. ^ ""'They really do look as I'd imagined they would inside my head.'" Telegraph.co.uk 11 November 2001. (Accio Quote!, the Largest Archive of J.K. Rowling quotes on the web)". Accio-quote.org. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  10. ^ http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0443621/combined
  11. ^ "The Gruffalo's Child". BBC One. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 

External links[edit]