He acted in everything from Shakespeare to Rab C Nesbitt - who was Sean Scanlan?

Glasgow Times: Sean Scanlan

1 SCOTLAND has the sniffy teachers at St Aloysius College in Glasgow in the 60s to thank for providing us with one of the finest actors of his generation. Sean Scanlan’s long hair and gold corduroy trousers were too much for the city private school, so he was asked to leave, and instead of pursuing law like his family intended, he decided to try out for a drama group in Hope Street. His obituary in our sister newspaper The Herald says he went to the auditions for the New Victory Players “for a laugh” but ended up landing a part in a play called Dodd’s Dilemma, and receiving standing ovations every night.

Glasgow Times: Sean and Barbara.

2 Born in August, 1948, the son of a journalist and a secretary, who both enjoyed amateur dramatics at the Glasgow Athenaeum. Sean is probably best known for TV series such as The Tales of Para Handy, 2000 Acres of Sky and Rab C Nesbitt (in which he played Rab’s posh Anglo cousin Shug). He also played the great Shakespearean roles at the Bristol Old Vic, and his performance in Dennis Potter’s Brimstone and Treacle at the Sheffield Crucible was described as a tour de force.

3 In 1971, Sean left his native Glasgow for London, and won the Gold Medal at the Drama Centre prompting one visiting star – Anthony Hopkins – to describe him as “the new me.” He missed out on playing Jimmy Boyle in the 1979 film A Sense of Freedom (the role went to David Hayman) but landed roles in other theatre and TV productions, including the 1980s TV drama Airline and Coronation Street.

4 He returned to Scotland in the early noughties, starring in TV hits like Rab C Nesbitt, River City and Katie Morag.

5 In 1998 Sean met the love of his life, fellow actor Barbara Rafferty at the Citizens’ Theatre in 1998 in Love Lies Bleeding. They went on to work together in many productions. Sean sadly died in April 2017, aged 69.