Anthony Robert McMillan
30 March 1950
|Alma mater||University of Edinburgh|
(m. 1999; div. 2003)
Anthony Robert McMillan(born 30 March 1950), known professionally as Robbie Coltrane, is a Scottish actor, comedian and writer. He gained worldwide recognition as Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter film series (2001–2011), and as Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky in the James Bond films GoldenEye (1995) and The World Is Not Enough (1999). He was appointed as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2006 New Year Honours by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to drama. In 2011, he was honoured for his "outstanding contribution" to film at the British Academy Scotland Awards.
He started his career appearing alongside Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, and Emma Thompson in the sketch series Alfresco (1983–1984). In 1987, he starred in the BBC miniseries Tutti Frutti alongside Thompson, for which he received his first British Academy Television Award for Best Actor nomination. Coltrane then gained national prominence starring as criminal psychologist Dr. Eddie "Fitz" Fitzgerald in the ITV television series Cracker (1993–2006), a role which saw him receive the British Academy Television Award for Best Actor in three consecutive years (1994 to 1996). In 2006, Coltrane came eleventh in ITV's poll of TV's 50 Greatest Stars, voted by the public. In 2016 he starred in the four-part Channel 4 series National Treasure alongside Julie Walters, a role for which he received a British Academy Television Award nomination. In 1990, Coltrane received the Evening Standard British Film Award – Peter Sellers Award for Comedy.
Coltrane has appeared in two films for George Harrison’s Handmade Films: the Neil Jordan neo-noir Mona Lisa (1987) with Bob Hoskins, and Nuns on the Run with Eric Idle. He also appeared in Kenneth Branagh's Shakespeare adaptation Henry V (1989), the comedy Let It Ride (1989), Steven Soderbergh's crime-comedy thriller Ocean's Twelve (2004), Rian Johnson's caper film The Brothers Bloom (2008), Mike Newell's Dickens film adaptation Great Expectations (2012), and Emma Thompson's biographical film Effie Gray (2014). He is also known for his voice performances in the animated films The Tale of Despereaux (2008), and Pixar's Brave (2012).
Coltrane was born Anthony Robert McMillan on 30 March 1950 in Rutherglen, Scotland, the son of Jean Ross 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 started his education at Belmont House School in Newton Mearns before moving to Glenalmond College, an independent school in Perthshire. 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 Moray House College of Education (now part of the University of Edinburgh) in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Coltrane later called for private 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. He appeared in the first theatre production of John Byrne's The Slab Boys, at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh (1978). His comic skills brought him roles in The Comic Strip Presents (1982-2012) series (in 1993 he directed and co-wrote the episode "Jealousy" for series 5), as well as the comedy sketch show Alfresco (1983–1984). In 1984 he appeared in A Kick Up the Eighties (Series 2) and Laugh??? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee, and is credited as a writer for both.
Coltrane 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 appeared in The Young Ones, Tutti Frutti (1987), as Samuel Johnson in Blackadder the Third (1987) (a role he later reprised in the more serious Boswell and Johnson's Tour of the Western Islands (1993)), LWT's The Robbie Coltrane Special (1989) (which he also co-wrote) and in other 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 continued 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.
Roles in bigger films followed: the James Bond films GoldenEye (1995) and The World Is Not Enough (1999), a 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 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 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 September 2006, 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.
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 married Rhona Gemmell on 11 December 1999. The couple have two children: son Spencer (b. 1992), and daughter Alice (b. 1998). Coltrane and Gemmell separated in 2003 and later divorced.
Coltrane suffers from osteoarthritis.
During the campaign for the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, Coltrane voiced his conditional support for independence, stating that "I’d eventually like to see independence – but only an independent Labour Scotland."
|1980||Flash Gordon||Man at airfield|
|Death Watch||Limousine Driver|
|1981||Subway Riders||Crime Detective|
|1982||Britannia Hospital||Striking worker on picket line||Cameo role|
|1985||National Lampoon's European Vacation||Man in bathroom|
|The Supergrass||Det. Sgt. Troy|
|Defence of the Realm||Leo McAskey|
|1987||Eat the Rich||Jeremy|
|1988||The Fruit Machine||Annabelle|
|Bert Rigby, You're a Fool||Sid Trample|
|Let It Ride||Ticket Seller|
|Danny, the Champion of the World||Victor Hazell|
|Nuns on the Run||Charlie McManus
|Perfectly Normal||Alonzo Turner|
|1991||The Pope Must Die||The Pope|
|Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole||Steffano Baccardi|
|1992||Oh, What a Night||Todd|
|1993||Boswell & Johnson's Tour of the Western Isles||Dr. Samuel Johnson|
|The Adventures of Huck Finn||Duke|
|1995||GoldenEye||Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky|
|1997||Buddy||Dr. Bill Lintz|
|1998||Frogs for Snakes||Al|
|1999||The World Is Not Enough||Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky|
|Message in a Bottle||Charlie Toschi|
|2001||On the Nose||Delaney|
|From Hell||Sergeant Peter Godley|
|Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone||Rubeus Hagrid|
|2002||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets|
|2004||Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban|
|Van Helsing: The London Assignment||Mr. Hyde||Voice|
|2005||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire||Rubeus Hagrid|
|2006||Stormbreaker||The Prime Minister|
|Provoked||Lord Edward Foster|
|2007||Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix||Rubeus Hagrid|
|2008||The Tale of Despereaux||Gregory||Voice|
|The Brothers Bloom||The Curator|
|Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince||Rubeus Hagrid|
|2010||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1||Cameo|
|2011||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2|
|Great Expectations||Mr. Jaggers|
|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||Keep It in the Family||Mr. Conway||"A Matter of Principle"|
|1982||Sin on Saturday||Himself||3 episodes|
|1982||The Young Ones (Series 1)||Slobber||Episode 2 "Oil"|
|1982–2012||The Comic Strip Presents...||Various roles||Special: "Five Go Mad in Dorset"
Director & co-writer: Series 5, Episode 6 "Jealousy" (1993)
|1983||Are You Being Served||C.B. Voice||Voice; Episode: "Calling All Customers"|
|Alfresco||Various roles||13 episodes|
|1984||A Kick Up the Eighties (Series 2)||Various roles||Replaced Richard Stilgoe. Writer credits.|
|1984||Laugh??? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee||Various roles||Writer credits.|
|1984||The Young Ones (Series 2)||Dr Carlisle (Ep. 1), Captain Blood (Ep. 4)||Episode 1 "Bambi" & Episode 4 "Time"|
|1985–86||Saturday Live||Various roles||Pilot show ("On The Waterfront" film spoof)|
Show 10 ("The Third Man" film spoof)
|1987||Blackadder the Third||Samuel Johnson||Episode 2 "Ink and Incapability"|
|1987||Tutti Frutti||Danny McGlone||6 episodes|
|1988||Friday Night Live||Various roles
including "Uncle Don Corleone"
|1988||Blackadder's Christmas Carol||The Spirit of Christmas||Christmas special|
|1989||The Robbie Coltrane Special||Himself||LWT comedy Special; co-writer|
|1991||Screen One||Psychiatrist Liam Kane||Episode: "Alive And Kicking"|
|1993||The Legend of Lochnagar||The old man||TV film, voice|
|Coltrane in a Cadillac||Himself||4-part documentary|
|1993–2006||Cracker||Dr. Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald||25 episodes|
|1997||Coltrane's Planes and Automobiles||Himself||6-part documentary|
|1998||The 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||Episode: "Goodnight, Seattle"|
|2005||Still Game||Davie||Series 4, Episode 3: "Dial-A-Bus"|
|2006||Cracker: Nine Eleven||Dr. Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald||Television movie|
|2007||Robbie Coltrane – B Road Britain||Himself||TV Documentary|
|2009||Murderland||D.I. Douglas Hain|
|2009||The Gruffalo||The Gruffalo||Short; 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's Child||The Gruffalo||Voice; Short|
|2013||The Many Faces of Robbie Coltrane||Himself||TV documentary|
|2016||National Treasure||Paul Finchley||TV film|
|2016–18||Robbie Coltrane Critical Evidence||Host||True crime, non fiction|
|2019–20||Urban Myths||Orson Welles||Episode: "Orson Welles In Norwich"|
|2022||Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts||Himself||HBO Max Special|
|1978||The Slab Boys||Jack Hogg||Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh|
|1980||Threads||Performer||Hampstead Theatre, London|
|1987||British Academy Television Award||Best Actor||Tutti Frutti||Nominated|
|1996||Royal Television Society Award||Best Actor - Male||Won|
|1996||Broadcasting Press Guild Award||Best Actor||Won|
|2001||British Academy Film Award||Best Actor in a Supporting Role||Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone||Nominated|
|2001||Saturn Award||Best Supporting Actor||Nominated|
|2002||Phoenix Film Critics Society Award||Best Ensemble Acting||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets||Nominated|
|2016||British Academy Television Award||Best Actor||National Treasure||Nominated|
|2016||Royal Television Society Award||Best Actor – Male||Won|
|2016||Monte-Carlo Television Festival||Outstanding Actor in a Mini Series||Won|
|2016||Broadcasting Press Guild Award||Best Actor||Won|
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