Robbie Coltrane’s acting career began well before the very debut Harry Potter movie premiered in 2001. But for those who was raised with Harry Potter films and books, it’s tough to differentiate from the Scottish actor and his bigger-than-life (at least for the muggles) performance as Rubeus Hagrid who is the official guardian of the keys and areas at Hogwarts.
In the wake of news of his passing on Friday fans of the show and the other actors of Coltrane posted on social media to honor the man who made the half-giant, loveable character to life through iconic lines like “Yer a wizard, Harry.”
Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, recalled Coltrane for his kindness and the effect she felt from him while filming.
“His talent was so immense it made sense he played a giant – he could fill ANY space with his brilliance,” Watson wrote. “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.”
Tom Felton, whose character Draco Malfoy was frequently the enemy of Harry Potter, spoke of the way Coltrane as well as Hagrid were similar in the way they treated others.
“One of my fondest memories of filming Harry Potter was a night shoot on the first film in the forbidden forest. I was 12. Robbie cared & looked after everyone around of him. Effortlessly,” Felton wrote on Instagram. “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 xx.”
Coltrane’s Hagrid often brought smiles to his audience when he found himself in humorous situations with enchanting creatures. However, his loving and gentle attitude often earned him the respect of his fans.
“Hagrid represented the concept of unconditional love. A true friend. Thank you Robbie for bringing this character to life,” wrote an online fan on Twitter.
As he reflected on the films that will be part of The HBO Special Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, Coltrane spoke about his beloved character who outlived him.
“The legacy of the movies is, I suspect, that my children’s generation will show them to their children. So you could be watching it in 50 years’ time, easy,” Coltrane stated. “I’ll not be here, sadly, but … Hagrid will, yes.”
The way Harry Potter said, “There’s no Hogwarts without you, Hagrid” And there wouldn’t be Hagrid with out Coltrane.