1 Gordon Jackson was born on December 19, 1923, in Glasgow, where his father taught painting. He started acting in childhood, but chose to work for Rolls-Royce when he left school.

2 The lure of the silver screen tempted him back and he became one of the country’s most prolific actors, with roles in the film Millions Like Us in 1943, Floodtide in 1949 and The Great Escape in 1963 and on stage in repertory theatre around the country. From rep in Rutherglen, he went on to appear in Orson Wells’ production of Moby Dick, as Banquo in Macbeth (with Alec Guinness) and Horatio in Hamlet.

3 In a career spanning more than 50 years, he will probably be best known for his much-loved roles in Upstairs, Downstairs and The Professionals. In the former, he played the butler, Hudson – the series lasted five years and aired in dozens of countries worldwide – and in the latter, he played Cowley, the head of a tough government agency called Criminal Intelligence.

4 In 1974 he was awarded British Actor of the Year and in 1975, received a Supporting Actor Emmy for Upstairs Downstairs. In 1979 he was awarded OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to drama.

5 According to his obituary in The Herald: “Jackson, who died, aged 66, in January 1990, was an essentially modest man. Fellow actors paid fond tributes when they learned of his passing; John Alderton, who also starred in Upstairs, Downstairs, described him as “the sweetest, gentlest man I have ever met”.