Personal detailsName: Robbie Coltrane
Born: 30 March 1950 (Age: 63)
Where: Rutherglen, Scotland
Height: 6' 1"
Awards: Won 3 BAFTAs
All about this star
Just like the stunningly good-looking, comedians find it hard to get taken seriously in cinema. Even the brightest of them - Woody Allen or Steve Martin, for example - find that their "straight" work is usually given short shrift by a laugh-starved public. The financial imperative, consequently, demands that they stay funny. How, then, did Robbie Coltrane, for years known only as that fat Glaswegian comic on the peripheries of the Comic Strip team, manage to find fame and consistent work offers in Hollywood, based entirely upon his thespian abilities? How could it be that, while his far more illustrious peers were struggling away in such trash as Bring Me The Head Of Mavis Davis, Coltrane waslarging it in not one, but two James Bond blockbusters?
He was born Robert MacMillan, on the 30th of March, 1950, in Rutherglen, on the outskirts of Glasgow. His parents were both Scottish Calvinists. His father, Ian, was a GP and extremely busy - Robbie claims he hardly spoke to him till he was 6. His mother, Jean, was a teacher. Like her husband, she was bright and curious, keeping music, films and literature high on the family's agenda. Robbie has claimed that his earliest memory is of lying beneath the piano while his mother played.
There were other early influences that would heavily mark his later career. Not only did Robbie grow to love music, painting and films, he also fell for motor vehicles, and lorries in particular. His heroes included both actors and long-distance drivers. He'd even run around pretending to BE a lorry. And, as he approached puberty, there were his dad's books. As well as running the surgery, Ian worked as a police surgeon, thus the bookshelves held some thoroughly enticing tomes on biology, pathology and murderous mayhem in general. When Robbie was 11, Ian wanted him to view some crime victims, believing our culture foolishly cowers before death. Jean refused. Nevertheless, Robbie's extra-curricular delvings into those books gave him a far-above-average insight. He wanted to know WHY people do things like that.
He would also suffer, at an early age, genuine tragedy. Ian would die from lung cancer when Robbie was still in his teens. Worse, in 1976, Robbie's younger sister, Jane, committed suicide while studying at York University. Like Robbie, she was bubbling over with life, but suffered from depression. It was Robbie who travelled down to collect her belongings. On the way home, wild with grief, he would smash up his train carriage.
After a primary education at a local state school, Robbie had been sent to the Glenalmond public school in Perthshire, known as The Eton Of Scotland. This place was deeply authoritarian, with bullying and disciplinary beatings commonplace.