Roddy McMillan

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Roddy McMillan
Born(1923-03-23)23 March 1923
Died9 July 1979(1979-07-09) (aged 56)

Roddy McMillan OBE (23 March 1923 – 9 July 1979) was a Scottish actor and playwright, possibly most famous for his comedy role as Para Handy for BBC Scotland's television series, The Vital Spark.[1][2] He also played the lead role in Edward Boyd's private eye series, The View from Daniel Pike.[3]


The Glasgow-born McMillan worked for a time in a glassworks. His theatre work began in the mid-1940s with the Glasgow Unity Theatre.[4] Later that decade, he began acting with the Glasgow Citizen's Company before moving on to Edinburgh's Gateway Theatre in the mid-1950s.[5]

His first play, All in Good Faith, about a Glasgow family which unexpectedly comes into possession of £15,000, was first staged in 1954.[6] He performed in his second play, The Bevellers, which premiered at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh and achieved success at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow during 1973 and then as a televised Play for Today for the BBC.[2][7] McMillan also played Detective Inspector "Choc" Minty in the late 1970s private eye series, Hazell, starring Nicholas Ball.[8]

McMillan was awarded the OBE in the 1978 Queen's Birthday honours.


Roddy McMillan died following a heart attack, aged 56, not long after completing filming on the second series of Hazell.[9]


Year Title Role Notes
1950 The Gorbals Story Hector
1950 Morning Departure Leading Seaman Andrews
1952 You're Only Young Twice Milligan
1953 Laxdale Hall Willie John Watt
1954 The Maggie Inverkerran Driver
1958 Cat & Mouse Mr. Pomeroy
1959 The Bridal Path Murdo
1960 The Battle of the Sexes Macleod
1960 The Big Day Bob
1960 Snowball Jack, 'bus conductor
1962 A Prize of Arms Sgt. McVie
1962 The Amorous Prawn Pvt. McTavish
1963 The Mouse on the Moon Benter
1969 Ring of Bright Water Busdriver
1972 Chato's Land Gavin Malechie
1978 Sweeney 2 Collie


  • Findlay, Bill (1980), review of All in Good Faith in Bold, Christine (ed.), Cencrastus No. 3, Summer 1980, pp. 43 & 44, ISSN 0264-0856.


  1. ^ "Roddy McMillan". BFI.
  2. ^ a b "The show may not go on as theatre fails to track down writer's daughters".
  3. ^ "The View from Daniel Pike". 18 November 1971. p. 65 – via BBC Genome.
  4. ^ Craig, Cairns; Stevens, Randall (1 July 2010). Twentieth Century Scottish Drama. Canongate Books. ISBN 9781847674746.
  5. ^ "STA Catalogue: Roddy McMillan". University of Glasgow Special Collections. Retrieved 14 June 2009.
  6. ^ Hutchison, David (1980), Roddy McMillan and the Scottish Theatre, in Cencrastus No. 2, Spring 1980, pp. 5 - 8
  7. ^ "The Bevellers (1974)". BFI.
  8. ^ "BFI Screenonline: Hazell (1978-80)".
  9. ^ "'Tough guy' TV actor dies at 56". The Guardian. 10 July 1979.

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