||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (November 2013)|
21 February 1935
Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
|Died||6 June 1994
|Spouse(s)||Marion McManus (1985-1993) (her death)|
Mark McManus (21 February 1935 – 6 June 1994) was a Scottish actor best known for his portrayal of Detective Chief Inspector Jim Taggart in the long-running ITV television series Taggart for eleven years until his death.
McManus was born in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, on 21 February 1935. Mark was relocated to Hillingdon, Uxbridge, in London when he was three years old until he relocated at the age of 16 to Australia where he performed in amateur theatre groups which led him to become a professional actor. He appeared in the popular children's TV series Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, and made a guest appearance in the long-running Australian police drama: Homicide. He also starred in Tim Burstall's unsuccessful but historically important feature film 2000 Weeks (1969), which was the first full-length Australian-produced feature made in Australia since Charles Chauvel's Jedda in 1954.
McManus also appeared in the American-produced historical drama Adam's Woman (1970) and co-starred with Mick Jagger in the unsuccessful Tony Richardson 1970 film version of the Ned Kelly story, Ned Kelly.
McManus returned to the UK in 1971 and came to wider attention playing roles such as Harry Carter in The Brothers, and Sam Wilson, a coal miner in the 1973 TV series Sam. He also appeared as a dour Scots police officer, Jack Lambie, in Strangers, a role he reprised as a guest star in the spin-off, Bulman.
Some of the more notable shows he was in include:
McManus began playing the title character in the crime drama Taggart in September 1983 alongside Neil Duncan, Tom Watson and Robert Robertson. The pilot attracted an estimated 7.6 million viewers. When Duncan left the show in 1987, James MacPherson joined the show as the new character Michael Jardine. This was followed by new Superintendent (Jack McVitie) in the 1985 episode "Murder In Season". A new sergeant Jackie Reid was introduced in 1990, and in "Rogue's Gallery" (1990) Taggart promoted her.
McManus drank heavily and, after several years of declining health, died from an alcohol-related illness. He died of pneumonia on 6 June 1994 aged 59 in Glasgow, only eight months after the death of his wife Marion. He became the first person to be posthumously awarded the Lord Provost of Glasgow's Award for Performing Arts.
His final Taggart episode was "Prayer for the Dead" (1995). McManus was the first Taggart cast member to die followed by Iain Anders (Jack McVitie) who died three years later in 1997 aged 64 from a sudden heart attack.
After the death of McManus in 1994, his character was given an on-air funeral in the final episode of the series' 11th season, "Black Orchid". In that same episode, the character of Michael Jardine, portrayed by actor James MacPherson, was promoted to Taggart's position of Detective Chief Inspector.
"No Matter What They Say- The Story of Sweet" (HomeSweetHome Publishing, 2009).