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Friday, 13 April, 2001, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Jimmy Logan: A great entertainer
Jimmy Logan
Jimmy Logan was a star of stage, screen and radio
Jimmy Logan was known as one of the great Scottish entertainers.

A career spanning more than six decades made him a household name as an actor, musician, singer, comedian and theatrical entrepreneur.

He was a performer who loved an audience - and was equally loved by those who came to enjoy his shows.

Jimmy was born into a Glasgow theatrical family in 1928.

Jimmy Logan poster
Jimmy published his autobiography in 1998
He was the third son of popular music hall double act Jack Short and May Dalziel, and he started getting involved in work in the theatre at a young age.

"My father and mother were in showbusiness. There were five children and we all had our jobs to do," he said in a BBC interview.

"When I was six or seven I was selling programmes, chocolates, cigarettes - but I wanted to get on the stage."

In the 1940s he was a leading light in his family's show, which he left to become a pantomime performer in his own right.

At the age of 21 the film Floodtide - a gritty Clydeside drama with Gordon Jackson and Rona Anderson - made him a movie star.

Comedy routine

His other screen roles included parts in two Carry On films.

He also became well known on the BBC's Scottish Home Service radio show It's All Yours.

He teamed up with Stanley Baxter for a comedy routine which made them national names and coined a string of popular catchphrases.

They also starred in the long-running Five Past Eight show at the Alhambra Theatre in Glasgow.

Jimmy toured the world and became a highly paid entertainer with a lifestyle to match.

Critical acclaim

However, he was left facing financial ruin after he bought Glasgow's Metropol Theatre.

The venue was forced to close in the early 1970s because of money problems, leaving Jimmy to start over again.

But he returned to the stage as an actor and won critical acclaim in plays such as Death of a Salesman and The Entertainer.

There were also plaudits for his television performances.

He was elected as a fellow of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and received an OBE from the Queen in 1996.

In his later years he won praise for his portrayal of Sir Harry Lauder in his one-man show.

His 1998 autobiography It's a Funny Life was also a best-seller.

But for many, Jimmy will be best remembered as a panto star.

He died, aged 73, in hospital in Clydebank, near Glasgow, during the early hours of Friday after losing his battle with cancer of the oesophagus.

He leaves two children, 15-year-old twins Robert and Annabel.

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BBC Scotland's Forbes McFall reports
"Jimmy Logan was one of the great Scottish entertainers"
See also:

13 Apr 01 | Entertainment
13 Apr 01 | Scotland
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