Wednesday, November 3, 1999 Published at 18:57 GMT
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.
The spokesman said: "The emergency services attended and found one vehicle on its roof.
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.
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.
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."