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Wednesday, 17 January, 2001, 17:13 GMT
Taggart star dies
Taggart cast
Robertson (second right) on the Taggart set
Actor Robert Robertson, who played pipe-smoking pathologist Dr Stephen Andrews in TV drama Taggart, has died.

The 70-year-old suffered a heart attack on stage in Perth on Tuesday evening while he was reciting a Robert Burns poem, Holy Willie's Prayer.

He was taken from the Perth Theatre to the city's Royal Infirmary, but died on Wednesday morning.

A spokeswoman for Scottish Television, which produces the ITV programme, said: "We are deeply saddened by the news of Robert Robertson's death.

"He was a man of great talent, and made a significant contribution to Taggart over many years in his role as Dr Stephen Andrews.

"Robert was extremely popular with his fellow actor and the production team at Scottish Television Productions.

"He will be greatly missed by everybody and our thoughts are with his family at this sad time."

He would not have wanted to go so soon, but at least he died while he was doing something he loved

Close friend Lorne Boswell
Close friend Lorne Boswell said Robertson would have smiled at the "irony" of his own death in front of an audience.

He added: "Obviously he would not have wanted to go so soon, but at least he died while he was doing something he loved.

"He was a great friend of mine for many years, an enormous man with a massive heart. Even today I can't think about him without wanting to smile.

"Robert was the kind of man you met and 20 minutes later you were laughing uncontrollably."

After a long spell as a jobbing actor, his breakthrough came in a London production of Fiddler On The Roof in 1971.

In 1983 he joined the cast of the pilot episode of Taggart, and he was the last member of cast to remain from that original programme.

Its original lead actor, Mark McManus, died of pneumonia in 1994.

Last month, one of the show's current stars, James MacPherson, left the series, saying he wanted to "explore other projects" after 13 years with the programme.

Robert Robertson is survived by his partner of 21 years, Monica Nesbitt.

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