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Scottish actor and director Sandy Neilson dies aged 74

Sandy Neilson. Photo: Alan McCredie
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Tributes have been paid to the actor and director Sandy Neilson, a stalwart of Scottish theatre over the past 40 years, who has died at the age of 74.

His death from a heart attack in hospital on October 19, where he had been admitted following a fall, was confirmed on social media by his acting agency, Lovett Logan.

It said: “Very very sad that our wonderful, talented and funny client and friend Sandy Neilson has passed away. Many, many happy memories.”

A former drama officer with the Scottish Arts Council, Neilson had worked widely across Scotland’s theatre landscape in various roles, including serving as artistic director of the Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, and co-founding the Fifth Estate Theatre Company.

As an actor, he made regular appearances with Scotland’s leading companies, enjoying especially close relationships with Dundee Rep, where he was a member of the inaugural company, Edinburgh’s Lyceum Theatre and the Tron Theatre, Glasgow.

He spent four years with the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2007 and was also seen at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, and on television and film.

Playwright David Greig tweeted: “The scope of Sandy’s work was enormous and his contribution to Scottish theatre immense.”

Touring company Dogstar Theatre said: “We salute Sandy Neilson, a fine actor and lifelong champion of Scottish theatre. Thank you Sandy.”

A full obituary will appear in a future edition of the Stage.

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