Stars from the “Harry Potter” universe are paying tribute to Hogwart’s resident gentle half-giant, Robbie Coltrane, who died on Friday.
In a statement provided to CNN by a representative, Daniel Radcliffe called Coltrane, 72 – who played Hagrid in the “Harry Potter” film franchise – “one of the funniest people I’ve met” and recalled how the actor “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 and he was telling stories and cracking jokes to keep morale up,” Radcliffe said, making reference to the third film. “I feel incredibly lucky that I got to meet and work with him and very sad that he’s passed. He was an incredible actor and a lovely man.”
Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in the franchise, also honored her late costar on Friday in an Instagram Story.
“Robbie was the most fun uncle I’ve ever had,” she wrote, underneath a photo of the pair. “His talent was so immense it made sense he played a giant – he could fill ANY space with his brilliance,” she later added. “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,” Watson continued, going on to say how Coltrane “made us a family.”
Tom Felton, who famously portrayed Draco Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” movies, also posted to Instagram in honor of Coltrane, writing on Friday, “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. And made them laugh. Effortlessly. He was a big friendly giant on screen but even more so In real life.”
Coltrane, too, shared fond memories of working with the film’s young stars in a recent HBO Max special, “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.” (CNN and HBO are both part of Warner Bros. Discovery.)
“Watching them grow up was kind of like watching your own kids growing up, you know? Because you were sort of protecting them,” he said. “I was always astonished at how fearless they were.”
“Harry Potter” author J.K. 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.”
And Warwick Davis, who played Professor Filius Flitwick and the goblin Griphook in the films, remembered Coltrane as someone who was “always jovial” and “brought warmth, light and laughter to any set he walked on to.”