Scottish actor Anthony Robert McMillan has come a long way since playing "Man at airfield" in Flash Gordon in 1980. He got well known for quite a few people for roles such as Fitz, criminal psychologist in the UK "Cracker" series, and mainly comic relief and gangster parts in a wide range of movies, including those of Falstaff in Branagh's take on Henry V and Eastern European villain in two James Bond movies. But what would finally and inevitably skyrocket his fame, also with the youngest audience, was being cast for the role of Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies.

McMillan was born in Rutherglen in Scotland in 1950. His father was a doctor, his mother a teacher. Music, films and literature was treasured in his family. Alongside these interests passed on from his parents, he also developed a passion for motor vehicles, in particular lorries. Topping the young man's list of heroes were actors and long distance drivers.

Having finished his primary education in a local state school, he was sent to Glenalmond public school in Perthshire, by some referred to as the 'Eton Of Scotland'. McMillan was not happy in this authoritarian system and has later stated that public schools should all be banned and that he would never send his own son to one. He got through his time there using comedy and apparently got quite popular this way - among the other students, but not necessarily with the teachers, as he was quite rebellious. His artwork won him prizes, and he headed the school's debate team. His stage debut at the age of 12 featured selected rants from Henry V (which we know he would later perform in 'for real').

McMillan then studied painting and drawing at the Glasgow School of Art and the Moray House College Of Education in Edinburgh but allegedly did not meet his own high standards. So he turned to film, and his 50 minute documentary 'Young Mental Health' was voted Film of the Year by the Scottish Education Council. The name Coltrane he took because of his love of jazz music.

Beginning to work with theatre groups, Coltrane supported himself taking low-paid jobs on the side. He also started doing stand-up comedy, that would lead him into the tv series The Comic Strip and the long line of comic parts.

Harry Potter-wise, one might care for the fact that Coltrane (along with Maggie Smith) was the only actor requested specifically by J. K. Rowling. In a quite different setting, he did a great job as the rather surprising sidekick of Johnny Depp in the chilling From Hell, proving that he masters perfectly the art of being funny and touching at the same time.

Filmography from imdb.com:
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) - Gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) - Gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)
On the Nose (2001) - Delaney
From Hell (2001) - Peter Godley
The 100 Greatest TV Characters (2001) (TV) (archive footage) - Fitz
The World Is Not Enough (1999) - Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky
Jerry Springer on Sunday (1999) (TV) - Himself
Alice in Wonderland (1999) (TV) - Tweedledum
Message in a Bottle (1999) - Charlie Toschi
The Ebb-Tide (1998) (TV) - Chisholm
Frogs for Snakes (1998) - Al
Montana (1998) - The Boss
"Coltrane's Planes and Automobiles" (1997) TV Series - Himself
Alright on the Night's Cockup Trip (1997) (TV) (archive footage) - Himself
Buddy (1997) - Dr. Lintz
Cracker: White Ghost (1996) (TV) - Fitz
GoldenEye (1995) - Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky
Boswell & Johnson's Tour of the Western Islands (1993)
"Cracker" (1993) TV Series - Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald
"Coltrane in a Cadillac" (1993) TV Series - Himself
The Legend of Lochnagar (1993) (voice) - Scotsman
The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993) - The Duke
Oh, What a Night (1992) - Todd
Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole (1991) - Steffano Baccardi
Alive and Kicking (1991) (TV) - Liam Kane
The Pope Must Die(t) (1991) - The Pope
Perfectly Normal (1990) - Alonzo Turner
Nuns on the Run (1990) - Charlie McManus/Sister Euphemia
Where the Heart Is (1990) (uncredited)
Hysteria 2! (1989) (TV) - Himself
A Night of Comic Relief 2 (1989) (TV)
Slipstream (1989) - Madeleine
Henry V (1989) - Falstaff
Lenny Live and Unleashed (1989) - Taxi Driver
Let It Ride (1989) - Ticket Seller
Danny, the Champion of the World (1989) (TV) - Victor Hazell
Bert Rigby, You're a Fool (1989) - Sid Trample
Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988) (TV) - Spirit of Christmas
The Fruit Machine (1988) - Annabelle
Eat the Rich (1987) - Jeremy
The Secret Policeman's Third Ball (1987) - Himself
"Tutti Frutti" (1987) TV Series - Danny McGlone/Big Jazza
Caravaggio (1986) - Scipione Borghese
Mona Lisa (1986) - Thomas
Absolute Beginners (1986) - Mario
Defence of the Realm (1985) - Leo McAskey
Revolution (1985) - New York Burgher
The Supergrass (1985) - Detective Sergeant Troy
European Vacation (1985) - Man in the Bathroom (National Lampoon's European Vacation)
"Laugh??? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee" (1984) TV Series - Various roles
Chinese Boxes (1984) - Harwood
Ghost Dance (1983)
Loose Connections (1983) - Drunk
Krull (1983) - Rhun
"Alfresco" (1983) TV Series - Various roles
Scrubbers (1983) - Puff Guts
Britannia Hospital (1982) - Picket
Kevin Turvey: The Man Behind the Green Door (1982) (TV) - Mick
Subway Rider (1981) - Detective Fritz Langley
La mort en direct (1980) (Death in Full View, Deathwatch)
Flash Gordon (1980) - Man at Airfield

Main sources:
http://www.tiscali.co.uk/entertainment/film/biographies/robbie_coltrane_biog.html
http://www.hollywood.com/celebs/detail/celeb/194717

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