The son of a doctor, Hugh Goldie was a chorister at Exeter Cathedral School before attending King’s College, Taunton. On leaving school he joined Sheffield repertory company as an assistant stage manager, and was called up in 1940. He volunteered for service with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and trained as a pilot where he distinguished himself.
In 1946 following war service he returned to the theatre, joining the West Riding Theatre Company. He made his professional debut as a director in 1949 at the Sheffield Playhouse with Hobson's Choice, with a cast that featured Paul Eddington and Patrick McGoohan.
Goldie worked on the original production of Christopher Fry’s A Sleep of Prisoners, and in 1953 directed his first London production, Love’s Labour’s Lost, at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre.
From 1954 to 1957 he was resident director at the Theatre Royal Windsor, and when he took Mrs Gibbon’s Boys to the West End in 1956 it was described by Kenneth Tynan "the best acted and directed American play since Arsenic and Old Lace".
Goldie then spent three years as artistic director at the Alexander Theatre in Johannesburg. On his return to Britain the plays which he brought to the London stage included Signpost to Murder (1961), starring Margaret Lockwood; Alibi for a Judge (1965), with Andrew Cruickshank; The Waiting Game (1966); Lady Be Good (1968); A Woman Named Anne (1970), starring Moira Lister and The Winslow Boy with (1971) starring Richard Todd
In 1974 he returned to the Theatre Royal Windsor, where he later became executive director. Productions included Laburnum Grove (1977), starring Arthur Lowe, and The Business of Murder, which opened at the Duchess Theatre in 1981 and ran for more than a decade. Goldie retired in 1986, but remained on the board and worked freelance with the Derek Nimmo British Airways Playhouse.
Selected Theatre productions
- Hobson’s Choice (1949)
- A Sleep of Prisoners
- Love’s Labour’s Lost (1956)
- Mrs Gibbon’s Boys (1956)
- Signpost to Murder (1961)
- Alibi for a Judge (1965)
- The Waiting Game (1966)
- Lady Be Good (1968)
- A Woman Named Anne (1970)
- Laburnum Grove (1977)
- The Business of Murder (1981)
Goldie was passionate about cricket, representing Somerset County Colts (1938), Oxfordshire (1954-1956) and Richmond Cricket Club in 1971 for whom he devoted much time — as chairman in 1989, he was partially responsible for the arrival of Adam Gilchrist on a cricket scholarship.
In later life, Goldie revealed his talent as a watercolourist, enjoying considerable success at several local exhibitions and galleries.
Hugh Goldie died in 2010 aged 91. He left a widow Janet (a Viennese refugee whom he married in 1946), two sons and a daughter.