Robbie Coltrane has been taken to hospital after complaining of severe flu-like symptoms while on board a trans-Atlantic flight to Florida. The 64-year-old actor, who is best known for playing Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, fell ill while en route to a Harry Potter convention with Michael Gambon, who played Dumbledore in the hit franchise.
According to TMZ, Robbie was on a British Airways flight from London to Orlando to attend the second annual 'A Celebration of Harry Potter' convention at Universal Studios, and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital upon his arrival. He is expected to remain overnight for treatment.
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Robbie Coltrane has been rushed to hospital after falling ill on a flight
Robbie, real name Anthony Robert McMillan, has been working in film and TV for over 30 years now.
He started out in television, and had roles on British shows including The Young Ones and Blackadder before really finding fame on the small screen in the 1990s playing forensic psychologist Dr Edward 'Fitz' Fitzgerald in the hit series Cracker. The role earned him three BAFTA awards.
He then started to gain roles in bigger films, such as the James Bond films Golden Eye and The World Is Not Enough, and appeared in all eight of the Harry Potter films, from 2001 until 2011. According to reports, author J.K. Rowling had her heart set on Robbie playing the half-giant; when asked who she would like to see in the role, she responded in one quick breath, "Robbie Coltrane for Hagrid".
Robbie Coltrane was J.K. Rowling's first choice to play Hagrid in Harry Potter
In a 2012 interview with The Guardian, the star was asked how it felt becoming an idol for children. "It is a little strange, to go from something like Cracker, where children are sent to bed before it comes on, to suddenly being confronted by doe-eyed children in a supermarket, telling you their mummy says you're Hagrid," he admitted.
"You just have to adapt. I have children of my own, and I recall sitting with my wife watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – when your children are about nine, you must watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang every day for a month – and thinking it would be wonderful to be in something like that and leave a legacy. And then Harry Potter happened."