4 April 1928|
Dennistoun, Glasgow, Scotland
|Died||April 13, 2001
West Dunbartonshire, Scotland
|Cause of death||Cancer|
Logan was born in Dennistoun, Glasgow, a member of a family of entertainers; the tradition began with his parents who were the music hall act, Short and Dalziel. His aunt, from whom he took his stage surname, was Broadway performer Ella Logan. His sister is actress and jazz singer Annie Ross, and his brother is vocalist Buddy Logan.
Educated at Gourock High School, Inverclyde, Logan left school at the age of 14. His family, in the 1930s and 1940s, toured the small music halls of Scotland and Northern Ireland. By 1944 he was in pantomime when he played the cat in Dick Whittington and His Cat. His connection with pantomime continued throughout his life, most famously with the long-running pantomimes produced by Howard & Wyndham in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Aberdeen.
Jimmy Logan, starring with Jack Radcliffe and Eve Boswell, held the record number of performances of the famed Five Past Eight shows staged each summer at the Alhambra Theatre. Logan purchased the Empress Theatre for £80,000 in 1964. He refurbished it, re-opening it as the New Metropole. One of the first events to be staged there was the first Scottish production of the rock musical Hair.
His first acting role was in the film Floodtide (1949), a drama set on Clydeside. He also performed in Mary Poppins (1964), Carry on Abroad (1972) and Carry On Girls (1973). His London stage debut came in The Mating Game (1973).
He staged an adaptation of Oor Wullie, the Sunday Post comic strip character, for the Dundee stage. His one-man musical based on the life of Scottish entertainer Sir Harry Lauder, was called Lauder (1976). Logan collected Lauder memorabilia, which is now housed in the Scottish Theatre Archive at the University of Glasgow.
Other theatrical events included The Entertainer (1984), Brighton Beach Memoirs (1989), Bill Bryden's The Ship, The Comedians (1991), On Golden Pond (1996) and Death of a Salesman at the Pitlochry Festival (1992). In 1991 he had a supporting role in the Swedish comedy film Den ofrivillige golfaren, which was partly filmed in Scotland.
Logan was awarded an honorary doctorate by Glasgow Caledonian University (1994), honoured with an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for "services to Scottish theatre" in 1996, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 1998.
Logan's last two performances were at Pitlochry Festival Theatre and the Glasgow's Pavilion Theatre respectively. An extensive archive of his personal papers and performance ephemera is now held by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland archives.
Logan published his autobiography as It's a Funny Life in 1998.
- "Jimmy Logan: A great entertainer". BBC News. 13 April 2001. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
- "Jimmy Logan". Daily Telegraph. 14 April 2001. Retrieved 17 November 2010.
- Dixon, Stephen (14 April 2001). "Jimmy Logan". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
- Smith (2011).
- Irving, Gordon (14 April 2001). "Jimmy Logan". The Independent. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
- "Farewell tributes to entertainer Logan". BBC News. 19 April 2001. Retrieved 7 November 2010.