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Obituary: John Line – ‘Set pulses racing in medical heart-throb roles throughout the 1960s and 70s’

John Line John Line

For a generation of television viewers, John Line will be remembered as the dashing Dr Andrew Shaw who set pulses racing in the medical soap Emergency – Ward 10 for three years in the early 1960s. He went on to play medical heart-throbs in Crossroads (1972), General Hospital (1972-74) and Out of Bounds (1977) and remained a familiar face on the small screen until the turn of the century.

Born into a medical family in Birmingham, after serving in the Royal Medical Corps during National Service, he trained at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, graduating with the Margaret Rutherford Award and making his professional debut in 1955 in Dial M for Murder with the Caryl Jenner Mobile Theatre.

His West End debut followed in 1959 in Harold Brooke and Kay Bannerman’s How Say You? at the Aldwych Theatre. Spells at London’s Royal Court and regional reps were followed by The Curse of the Daleks at the Wyndham’s Theatre in 1966.

Notable later stage appearances included Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man (Boulevard Theatre, 1989), the Young Vic and Farnham Redgrave, where he was seen in Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1990) and RC Sherriff’s Home at Seven (1993).

In the late 1970s, he was appointed head of acting at the Guildford School of Acting and for many years participated in role-playing classes for doctors with the General Medical Council.

John Line was born on January 5, 1931 and died on August 4, aged 87.

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