Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Wednesday, November 3, 1999 Published at 18:57 GMT

UK: Scotland

Actor Bannen killed in car crash

Ian Bannen enjoyed recent popularity in Waking Ned

The veteran British actor Ian Bannen has been killed in a road accident in the Scottish Highlands.

The 71-year-old actor's body was found in an overturned car near Loch Ness and his wife Marilyn, 53, who was driving the vehicle, was airlifted to hospital with slight injuries.

BBC Scotland's Iain MacDonald reports on the death of Ian Bannen
Northern Constabulary said the accident happened in an area known as Knockies Straight on the B862 which runs along the south side of Loch Ness from Inverness to Fort Augustus.

The spokesman said: "The emergency services attended and found one vehicle on its roof.

[ image: Ian Bannen: Distinguished career]
Ian Bannen: Distinguished career
"The female driver was removed from the vehicle and flown by air ambulance to Raigmore Hospital. The male passenger sustained fatal injuries."

The accident happened during a holiday in Scotland, Mr Bannen's agent Jean Diamond said.

The actor won huge acclaim in the espionage drama Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and for his role as Dr Cameron in the popular TV series Dr Finlay.

He enjoyed recent international success as the star of the comedy film Waking Ned - the story of an Irishman's plan to claim a big lottery win for his village.

Lifetime achievement

However, Mr Bannen, who was born in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, was renowned for a variety of roles on both stage and screen and received a lifetime achievement award from Bafta in 1996.

He was the only son of a leading lawyer, went to public school and served as a corporal in the Army.

His career began at the Dublin Gate Theatre and he soon graduated to playing leads, notably appearing opposite Vanessa Redgrave in a production of As You Like It.

West End appearances followed in A View From The Bridge, The Iceman Cometh and Long Day's Journey Into Night, in which he starred.

Notable movie roles included appearances in Station Six Sahara, The Offence, Defence of the Realm and Braveheart.

He was once a drinking companion of Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton but gave up alcohol after a spell of hepatitis.

Mr Bannen married Marilyn Salisbury, a former Ministry of Agriculture assistant, when he was 48. They lived in Ventnor, in the Isle of Wight, had no children.

Latest role

The actor was taking a short break from his latest role in a film provisionally entitled Strictly Sinatra.

The cast and crew of the film, written and directed by Peter Capaldi, paid tribute to him in a statement.

It read: "We are devastated to hear of the death of Ian Bannen earlier today. Ian was a hugely talented actor, a consummate professional and a much loved colleague.

Donald Emslie, managing director of television with Scottish Media Group, which made the Doctor Finlay series, was also among those who paid tribute.

"We are deeply saddened by this news and send our condolences to his family and friends," he said.

Scottish actor Brian Cox told BBC Newsnight Scotland: "I could not imagine anyone else like him. He really was one of the first international actors.

"He was an inspiring actor. He inspired everyone who worked with him."

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |

In this section

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Sport
Collins calls it a day for Scots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Death inquiry anaesthetist barred

Bowled over by Lord's

Ministers loosen purse strings

'Delight' at Tunnel court outcome

From Sport
Derby double swoop fails

Demands for far-reaching information bill

Gaelic makes sound use of the internet

Trusts 'ignoring' depression advice

BBC Scotland - On Air

'Little change' since poverty pledge

Nine hurt as bus crashes into pub

Teachers' union in pay body challenge

Dental death hearing adjourned

Parliament ponders Royal High flit

Reid quits PR job

Industry misses new trains target

Football and royalty dominate Westminster

From Sport
The next Battle of Britain

Man charged with murdering lab technician

Lockerbie trial judges named

Festival award for Ratcatcher