Gordon Jackson Biography

Birthday: 1923-12-19
Place of Birth: Glasgow, Scotland
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Wiki Biography: Gordon Cameron Jackson was born on December 19, 1923, in Glasgow, Scotland, the youngest of five children, whose father taught painting in the city. His interest in acting began during his school years, when he took part in many amateur productions. This led to him being spotted by the BBC, and that led to work in such radio shows such as "Children's Hour" followed. However, by age 15 he left school and went to work for Rolls-Royce. However, when some film producers were looking for a young Scot for a role in The Foreman Went to France (1942), "The Beeb" hadn't forgotten Gordon (even if he had forgotten them) and recommended him. His abilities as an actor really came to the forefront at age 20 with his appearance as an airman in Millions Like Us (1943). Although his roles were limited by his Scottish accent, his versatility won him many film and TV roles in a career spanning almost 50 years. He was a very prolific actor and, although not always starring in high-profile films, he was rarely out of work. His early career also included work in radio and repertory theater in Glasgow, Worthing and Perth. He made his London stage debut in 1951, in the long-running farce "Seagulls Over Sorrento". Later stage roles included Horatio in "Hamlet", Banquo in "Macbeth", Ishmael in "Moby Dick" directed by Orson Welles and a range of other parts both classical and modern. In 1949 he starred in the film Floodtide (1949) alongside Rona Anderson, whom he married two years later. The couple had two children, Graham and Roddy. His film work remained steady throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In 1969 he played Horatio in Tony Richardson's production of "Hamlet" at the Round House, and won the Clarence Derwent Award for Best Supporting Actor. However, the public didn't really "discover" him until 1971 with London Weekend Television's classic "Upstairs, Downstairs" (1971). This series set in the 1910s and 1920s concerned the contrast between the lives of a wealthy family (upstairs) and their servants (downstairs). He played the "middleman" butler, Hudson. The series lasted five years and aired in dozens of countries worldwide, and was particularly popular in the US. In 1974 he was awarded British Actor of the Year award and a Supporting Actor Emmy in 1975 for "Upstairs, Downstair". In 1977 came the long-running "The Professionals" (1977), an action-based crime series in which he played the tough, ruthless, wily head of a government agency called Criminal Intelligence (essentially a cross between MI6, Special Branch and the SAS). This was a complete (if temporary) change of direction for his career and he appeared to relish the challenge of playing an entirely different role. Despite the controversial depiction of violence, the series was hugely successful all over the world (except America, as the TV network executives there felt it too violent). Reportedly the British royal family were fans of the series, and in 1979 he was awarded OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to drama. Shortly after completion of the series in 1981, he appeared in the Australian mini-series "A Town Like Alice" (1981).. He won Australia's Logie award for this role. Yet despite his success, he claimed that he did not enjoy his own performances and never watched himself on screen, stating that he never felt very confident or comfortable in front of the camera or on stage. Throughout the remainder of the 1980s he generally took small roles in TV and film projects. Tragically his career was cut short when, in 1989, it was discovered he had irreversible bone cancer. He passed away on 14 January 1990 at the Cromwell Hospital in South Kensington, London.

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TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
The Great Escape MacDonald 'Intelligence' 1963 Adventure
The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie Gordon Lowther 1969 Comedy
Upstairs, Downstairs Hudson 1971 Drama
Upstairs Downstairs Hudson 1971 Drama
Shaka Zulu Prof. Bramston 1986 Action
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
The Quatermass Xperiment 0000
The Foreman Went to France 1942 Adventure, Drama
Millions Like Us 1943 Drama
The Captive Heart 1946 Drama
Happy Go Lovely 1951 Comedy, Musical, Romance
Moby Dick Rehearsed Ishmael 1955
Hell Drivers Scottie 1957 Crime, Drama
Tunes of Glory 1960 Drama, Romance
Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog 1961 Family, Drama
The Great Escape 1963 Game Show, Romance, 0, 0
The Long Ships 1964 Action, Adventure
The Ipcress File 1965 Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Cast a Giant Shadow 1966 Adventure, Drama, History
The Fighting Prince of Donegal 1966 Adventure, Family
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Gordon Lowther 1969 Comedy, Drama, Romance
Madame Sin 1972 0
Russian Roulette Det. Sgt. Brian Hardison 1975 Game Show, Comedy
The Medusa Touch 1978 Game Show, Sport
The Shooting Party 1985
The ZAZ The Commander 1985
Gunpowder Sir Anthony Phelps 1986 Action, Comedy
The Whistle Blower Bruce 1987 Thriller
The Lady and the Highwayman 1989 Adventure, Drama, Romance