Scottish Robert Burns actor John Cairney dies

Jason & The Argonauts 1963 trailer

Scottish-born actor John Cairney, who found fame playing Robert Burns on stage and screen, has died at the age of 93.

The star, who also appeared in the films Jason and the Argonauts and the Titanic drama A Night to Remember, was born in 1930 in the Baillieston area of Glasgow.

He trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and started out as a critically acclaimed stage actor before venturing into the world of TV and film.

John originally attended art college before dropping out to become an actor, but later in life, he became an acclaimed painter. 

A spokesperson for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, formerly the RSAMD, told the BBC: “We are so incredibly sad to hear of John Cairney’s death.

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“John was a member of our very first acting programme and was literally first in the classroom door when it opened in 1950.

“Throughout his life he was a passionate advocate for the power of performance and the transformative potential of the arts and arts education. He was a lovely man and will be sorely missed.”

John began his successful theatre career following drama school, where he met his first wife Sheila.

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He went on to star in the British premiere of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible in Bristol and played Hamlet at Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre.

From there, he entered the world of film famously appearing in Jason and The Argonauts in 1963.

Two years later in 1965, his journey with Robert Burns began when he portrayed the famous Scottish poet in the play There Was A Man at The Traverse Theatre.

He was also the brother of Scottish professional footballer Jim Cairney, who died in 2018.

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