Coltrane in April 2007
|Born||Anthony Robert McMillan
30 March 1950
Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
|Occupation||Actor, comedian and author|
|Spouse(s)||Rhona Gemmell (December 1999–present)|
|Children||Spencer and Alice|
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
Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, the son of Jean Ross (née Howie), a teacher and pianist, and Ian Baxter McMillan, a general practitioner who also served as a forensic police surgeon. He has an older sister, Annie, and a younger sister, Jane. Coltrane is the great-grandson of Scottish businessman Thomas W. Howie and the nephew of businessman Forbes 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. 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", rebelling against his conservative upbringing through involvement with Amnesty International, Greenpeace, the Labour Party, and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Coltrane moved into acting in his early twenties, taking the stage name Coltrane (in tribute to jazz saxophonist John Coltrane) and working in theatre and 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 roles in films such as Flash Gordon (1980), Death Watch (1980), Balham, Gateway to the South (1981), 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. 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 whom she would like to see in the role, responded "Robbie Coltrane for Hagrid" in one quick breath.
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.
Coltrane married Rhona Gemmell on 11 December 1999. The couple have two children: son Spencer (b. 1992), and daughter Alice (b. 1998).
Filmography and awards
|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"|
|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|
|1990||Danny Champion of the World||Victor Hazell|
|1993||The Legend of Lochnagar||The old man||TV film, voice|
|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||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||The Gruffalo||TV film (Children's), voice|
- Won Evening Standard British Film Award – Peter Sellers Award for Comedy 1990.
- He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2006 New Year Honours for his services to drama.
- In 2011 was honoured for his "outstanding contribution" to film as the British Academy Scotland Awards ("BAFTA Scotland Awards").
- "Robbie Coltrane Biography (1950–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- "Robbie Coltrane's magical career". BBC News. 31 December 2005.
- "Robbie Coltrane Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- "Robbie Coltrane biography". Tiscali.co.uk. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- Paton, Maureen (20 March 2003). "'Hagrid? I'm just Dad'". London: Telegraph.
- "Scotland on Sunday". Scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- "Dr Edward "Fitz" Fitzgerald". Crackertv.co.uk. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- "j.k. rowling". Neatorama. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- ""'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 15 August 2011.
- "The Gruffalo's Child". BBC One. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Robbie Coltrane.|
- Robbie Coltrane at the Internet Movie Database
- Robbie Coltrane biography and credits at the British Film Institute's Screenonline