LONDON — Robbie Coltrane, the baby-faced comic and character actor who played a crime-solving psychologist on the TV show “Cracker” and the compassionate half-giant Hagrid in the “Harry Potter” films, has died. He was 72.
Belinda Wright, Coltrane’s agent, said he died Friday at a hospital in his native Scotland but did not immediately provide further details.
In one of several tributes to him, she called him “forensically clever” and “brilliantly humorous.”
J.K. Rowling, who indicated decades ago that Coltrane was her first choice to play Hagrid, tweeted on Friday that he was “an wonderful talent, a complete one off.”
“I was beyond fortunate to know him, work with him and laugh my head off with him,” she wrote.
Coltrane, born Anthony Robert McMillan in Rutherglen, Scotland, was in his early twenties when he began pursuing an acting career and renamed himself after jazz singer John Coltrane.
When he broke through as a hard-bitten detective in “Cracker,” the 1990s TV series for which he won best actor at the British Academy Television Awards three years in a row, he already had a notable screen career, with credits including “Mona Lisa,” “Nuns on the Run,” and Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of “Henry V.”