Mark McManus

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Mark McManus
Born (1935-02-21)21 February 1935
Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died 6 June 1994(1994-06-06) (aged 59)
Glasgow, Scotland
Cause of death Pneumonia
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Marion McManus (1985-1993) (her death)

Mark McManus (21 February 1935 – 6 June 1994) was a Scottish actor, who also worked in England and Australia 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, Lanarkshire, Scotland, on 21 February 1935. Mark was moved to Hillingdon, Uxbridge, in London when he was three years old until he moved again 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 appeared opposite Peter O'Toole in the 1976 TV movie Rogue Male, and starred as a dour Scots police officer, Jack Lambie, in Strangers, a role he reprised as a guest star in the spin-off, Bulman.[1] He also had roles in productions at the National Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre.[2]

McManus was also a boxer before acting.[3][2] He is not to be confused with the boxer of the same name (born 1974) from Basildon in England.

Some of the more notable shows he was in include:

  • Sam (TV series), 1973–75
  • Taggart, 1983–94
  • Bulman, 1985–87
  • Dramarama, "The Macramé Man", 1988


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 female Detective Constable, Jackie Reid, was introduced in 1990 and, in "Rogue's Gallery", (1990) Taggart promoted her to Detective Sergeant.


McManus drank heavily and, after several years of declining health, died from an alcohol-related illness.[4] He was hospitalised with severe jaundice in May 1994.[5] He died of pneumonia, brought on by liver failure,[6] on 6 June 1994 aged 59 in Glasgow, only eight months after the death of his second wife Marion. In the last two years of his life McManus had also lost his mother, his brother and two sisters.[2] He became the first person to be posthumously awarded the Lord Provost of Glasgow's Award for Performing Arts.[7]

His final Taggart episode was "Prayer for the Dead" (1995). McManus was the first Taggart cast member to die aged 59 only to be 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.


  1. ^ 25 Years of Taggart: Mark McManus Story Archived 28 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b c "Obituary: Mark McManus". 7 June 1994. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 November 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  4. ^ Quinn, Thomas (27 October 2007). "Thomas Quinn: So much more than 'there's been a murder'" – via 
  5. ^ McIver, Brian (2 October 2007). "Born To Be Taggart". 
  6. ^ "Sweet star follows brother Taggart to grave. - Free Online Library". 
  7. ^ Mark McManus 1935-1994

"No Matter What They Say- The Story of Sweet" (HomeSweetHome Publishing, 2009).

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