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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Actor Robbie Coltrane Who Played Hagrid in Harry Potter Did NOT Die -- Did NOT Lose Battle

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 19 Mar 2019 08:27:55 Z)

Did Robbie Coltrane (who played Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies) die or did he "lose the battle"? No, that's not true: a Spanish-language site put a misleading headline on an article about Coltrane's osteoarthritis and several posts appeared on social media linking to the article while making the claim he died.

The story originated from an article published by Noticias Ecatepec on March 19, 2019 titled "Hagrid, el actor en Harry Potter, pierde la batalla" (archived here) which opened:

A sus 68 años, el actor británico Robbie Coltrane -conocido por su papel de Hagrid en Harry Potter- reveló que ha perdido la batalla contra la osteoartritis, una enfermedad que daña el cartílago que cubre los extremos de los huesos de una articulación y por la cual ahora estará confinado a una silla de ruedas.


At 68, British actor Robbie Coltrane - known for his role as Hagrid in Harry Potter - revealed that he has lost the battle against osteoarthritis, a disease that damages the cartilage that covers the ends of the bones of a joint and by the which will now be confined to a wheelchair.

Screenshot of https://noticiasecatepec.com/vip-farandula/muere-hagrid-el-actor-en-harry-potter/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Hagrid, el actor en Harry Potter, pierde la batalla

A sus 68 años, el actor británico Robbie Coltrane -conocido por su papel de Hagrid en Harry Potter- reveló que ha perdido la batalla contra la

As you can see it cuts of right before mentioning the osteoarthritis part.

The URL of the story was "https://noticiasecatepec.com/vip-farandula/muere-hagrid-el-actor-en-harry-potter/". Note we highlighted the word "muere" which means "dies" in Spanish.

The "news" was also posted with the caption "MURIÓ HAGRID" ("Hagrid died") on the Facebook page "Noticias de Monterrey" and again with a different misleading caption on Noticias de Jalisco and Noticias de Monterrey:

The websites mentioned on these pages all direct back to the Noticias Ecatepec website.

In reality Robbie Coltrane is only wheelchair-bound temporarily while awaiting an operation according to this report:

Robbie Coltrane left in wheelchair after crippling osteoarthritis agony

The 68-year-old, who played the beloved Rubeus Hagrid in the blockbuster franchise, battles with osteoarthritis which has left him in crippling pain and unable to walk. Robbie's now awaiting knee surgery in America to repair his joint that will hopefully relieve the pain.


Robbie appeared to be in good spirits and addressed his health battle, saying that he's 'due a new knee'. He added that once the surgery's complete, he'll be 'leaping around like an elf'.

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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