Iain Cuthbertson

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Iain Cuthbertson
Iain Cuthbertson.jpg
Born (1930-01-04)4 January 1930
Glasgow, Scotland
Died 4 September 2009(2009-09-04) (aged 79)
Glasgow, Scotland
Occupation Actor
Years active 1955-2003
Spouse(s) Anne Kristen (1964-1988)
Janet Mary Smith

Iain Cuthbertson (4 January 1930 – 4 September 2009) was a Scottish character actor. At 6' 4", he was known for his tall imposing build and also his distinctive "gravelly" heavily accented voice.

Early life[edit]

Born and brought up in Glasgow, he was educated at Glasgow Academy, Aberdeen Grammar and the University of Aberdeen (where he graduated with a MA Honours in French and Spanish). His first break as an actor was on radio while studying at Aberdeen University.

He spent two years national service in the Black Watch. During that time he was ordered to act as prisoner's friend at the court martial of a soldier accused of appearing late on parade, and then assaulting his superior officer when he eventually did turn up. He managed to get the soldier cleared of the more serious charge. The soldier's comment afterwards was "Thanks awfully fur pretendin ah didnae dae it sur".[1]

His original wish was for a job in the Foreign Office, but he became a radio journalist with the BBC in Glasgow.

Theatre career[edit]

Cuthbertson started acting at the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre in 1958 and became General Manager and Director of Productions in 1962.[2][3] Three years later he became Associate Director of London's Royal Court Theatre.[4]

Television career[edit]

His most memorable television role was as the criminal and businessman Charlie Endell in both Budgie (London Weekend Television/ITV) with Adam Faith (1971–72) and its sequel Charles Endell, Esq (Scottish Television/ITV) in 1979.

Other roles include the lead in The Borderers (BBC, 1968–70), Tom Brown's Schooldays (BBC, 1971) (as Thomas Arnold), The Stone Tape (BBC, 1972), Sutherland's Law (BBC, 1973–76)(as John Sutherland), Children of the Stones (HTV/ITV, 1977), and Danger UXB (Thames Television/ITV, 1979), The House With Green Shutters[5] (BBC, 1980). He appeared in the pilot episode of Rab C Nesbitt (1988) as a magistrate.

He suffered a crippling stroke in January 1982, which forced him to give up theatre for fear of forgetting his lines. He resumed television and film work, though, as his lines could be written on crib boards.[2] His first role following his stroke was as the villainous Scunner Campbell in Super Gran (Tyne Tees Television/ITV, 1985).[6] In 1989 he played the villain, Brett Savernake in the episode of Campion entitled "Sweet Danger".

Minor parts in ongoing series include appearances in Z-Cars (BBC), The Avengers (ABC/ITV), Inspector Morse (Central Television/ITV), Bulman (Granada Television/ITV), Ripping Yarns (BBC), The Duchess of Duke Street, Colonel Mannering in Adam Adamant Lives! story D For Destruction (1966) and Garron in the Doctor Who story The Ribos Operation. He also appeared in: Diamond Crack Diamond, The Onedin Line (BBC), Survivors (BBC), Scotch on the Rocks, Black Beauty (London Weekend/ITV), Minder (ITV), The Ghosts of Motley Hall (Granada/ITV), Juliet Bravo (BBC), Casualty (BBC), The Mourning Brooch, Casting the Runes and McPhee the Mother and Me.

On film, he appeared as Charles Waterbury in The Railway Children (1970).

Personal life[edit]

Cuthbertson's first marriage, to Anne Kristen in 1964, was dissolved in 1988. He is survived by his second wife, Janet Smith.

From 1975 to 1978, he served as Rector of the University of Aberdeen. He listed his hobbies as sailing and fishing, and, after retiring, he lived in Dalrymple, Ayrshire.

He suffered a severe stroke in 1982, which caused paralysis down one side of his body and speech loss. It took him almost two years to recover sufficiently to be able to act again. Although he avoided live theatre work thereafter, due to a fear of forgetting and/or stumbling on lines, he was still able to take parts in films and TV.

Filmography[edit]

Radio[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sunday Post 1973
  2. ^ a b Gray, Sadie. "Obituary - The Times". The Times. 
  3. ^ "Citizens Theatre". Citz.co.uk. 1945-09-11. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  4. ^ Custom byline text:  Chris Watt (2009-09-08). "Tributes as actor Iain Cuthbertson dies aged 79". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  5. ^ "The House With The Green Shutters". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  6. ^ Evans, Jeff (1995). The Guinness Television Encyclopedia. Guinness Publishing Ltd. p. 506. ISBN 0-85112-744-4. 
  7. ^ "Radio Plays 1945-1997: Serials, DIVERSITY website - radio drama, plays". Suttonelms.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  8. ^ "Bruce Stewart radio drama - DIVERSITY WEBSITE". Suttonelms.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  9. ^ "BBC Radio 7 - Shakespeare - Twelfth Night". Bbc.co.uk. 2011-01-06. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Michael Barratt
Rector of the University of Aberdeen
1975–1978
Succeeded by
Sandy Gall