Los Angeles: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Tom Felton are among the stars of "Harry Potter" films who paid tributes to the late veteran actor Robbie Coltrane, best known for playing the gentle half-giant Rubeus Hagrid in the fantasy movie franchise.
Coltrane died Friday at a hospital in his native Scotland, according to his agent Belinda Wright. He was 72.
Radcliffe, who played the protagonist of Harry Potter across all eight films, described the late actor as "a lovely man and an incredible actor".
"(He) used to keep us laughing constantly as kids on the set. I've especially fond memories of him keeping our spirits up on 'Prisoner of Azkaban,' when we were all hiding from the torrential rain for hours in Hagrid's hut. He was telling stories and cracking jokes to keep morale up," Radcliffe said in a statement to USA Today.
The actor said he is saddened by Coltrane's demise.
"I feel incredibly lucky that I got to meet and work with him and very sad that he's passed," Radcliffe added.
It made sense for Coltrane to play Hagrid, a giant, as he could fill any space with his brilliance, said Watson on her Instagram Stories.
The actor, who played Hermoine Granger in the films, said he was like "the most fun uncle" she ever had and she would never forget his compassionate and deeply caring nature towards her as a child and an adult.
"Robbie, if I ever get to be so kind as you were to me on a film set I promise I'll do it in your name and memory. Know how much I adore and admire you.
"I'll really miss your sweetness, your nicknames, your warmth, your laughs and your hugs. You made us a family. Know you were that to us. There was no better Hagrid. You made it a joy to be Hermione," Watson added.
J K Rowling, creator of "Harry Potter" books on which the films are based, said the Scottish actor was "an incredible talent and a complete one off".
"I'll never know anyone remotely like Robbie again... I was beyond fortunate to know him, work with him and laugh my head off with him. I send my love and deepest condolences to his family, above all his children," Rowling wrote on Twitter.
I'll never know anyone remotely like Robbie again. He was an incredible talent, a complete one off, and I was beyond fortunate to know him, work with him and laugh my head off with him. I send my love and deepest condolences to his family, above all his children. pic.twitter.com/tzpln8hD9z— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 14, 2022
Coltrane is survived by his sister Annie Rae, his ex-wife Rhona Gemmell and his children Spencer and Alice.
Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in "Harry Potter" movies, recounted one of his fondest memories of filming for a night shoot on the first film "The Philosopher's Stone" in the Forbidden Forest when he was just 12.
"Robbie cared & looked after everyone around him. Effortlessly. And made them laugh. Effortlessly. He was a big friendly giant on screen but even more so In real life. Love you mate - thank you for everything," he tweeted.
Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley, said she was "heartbroken" by Coltrane's passing.
"Hagrid was my favourite character! Robbie portrayed Hagrid's warmth, sense of home & unconditional love for his students and magical creatures so brilliantly. Thanks for all the laughter. Miss you Robbie. Sending love to your family," she wrote.
James Phelps said he would miss the random chats about all subjects under the sun with the multifaceted Coltrane. James played Fred Weasley in the "Harry Potter" film series from 2001 to 2011, alongside his twin brother, Oliver Phelps who starred as George Weasley.
"I'll never forget in September 2000, Robbie Coltrane came over to a very nervous 14yr old me on my 1st ever day on a movie set and said 'enjoy it, you'll be great.' Thank you for that," James said in a tweet.
Coltrane, whose real name was Anthony Robert McMillan in Rutherglen, Scotland, recently reunited with the cast and crew of "Harry Potter" during the filming of the "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts" to celebrate the anniversary of the franchise's first film.
The actor was in his early 20s when he began pursuing an acting career and renamed himself in honour of jazz musician John Coltrane.
Besides "Harry Potter", Coltrane was known for his performance in the 1990s British TV detective series "Cracker", for which he won best actor at the British Academy Television Awards three years in a row. He most recently starred in the 2016 miniseries "National Treasure".
His other screen credits include "Mona Lisa" (1986), Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of "Henry V" (1989), and "Nuns on the Run" (1990). Coltrane also played the role of a Russian crime boss in the James Bond thrillers "GoldenEye" and "The World is Not Enough".
James Bond producers Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said Coltrane's passing is a "tragic loss to the world".
"He was an exceptional actor whose talent knew no bounds. He was beloved to Bond audiences as Valentin Zukovsky in GoldenEye and The World is Not Enough as well as to millions who saw him in his multitude of roles.
"We shall miss him as a dear friend. Rest in peace Robbie," Wilson and Broccoli said in a statement shared on the official James Bond Twitter account.
Eric Idle, his "Nuns on the Run" co-star, tweeted he had been talking about Coltrane with friends, "wondering where he was", when he learnt of his death.
"Such a bright and brilliant man. A consummate actor, an extraordinarily funny comedian and an amazing actor. He was also a very good friend. I shall miss him very much," Idle tweeted.
Actor-filmmaker Stephen Fry, who first met Coltrane almost exactly 40 years ago, said the actor will be "dreadfully missed".
"I was awe/terror/love struck all at the same time. Such depth, power & talent: funny enough to cause helpless hiccups & honking as we made our first TV show, 'Alfresco'. Farewell, old fellow," Fry wrote on Twitter.