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OBITUARY - Gordon Reid.

THE stage was his life and when,in recent times, the flow of money was modest and he had to live in a rented council flat,Gordon Reid,actor in numerous TV, radio and theatre productions, said:``I'mas poor as a churchmouse,but I wouldn't be anything but an actor.''

At the time,Reid was playing Vladimir in Wait-ing for Godot before packed houses at the Finborough Theatre,London, where he died on stage in his costume suit, which was too large, threadbare and frayed at the collar. In this way,he felt he could give the character the necessary humour,pathos and dignity.

Reid,born in Hamilton, near Glasgow, was the director's dream,an actor who could switch from Shakespeare to drawing room comedies to soap operas with remarkable ease.

The world of theatre would have been denied the talents of this like able man if he had followed the career favoured by his family,accountancy. But,in 1962,he graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Drama in Glasgow with the silver medal for best actor.

The wider public will remember him best as Angus the chemist in four series of Dr Finlay's Casebook which ran between 1993 and`96.His own experiences as the son of a doctor added to his understanding of the stories and their particularly Scottish character.

In the series he became engaged to Janet the housekeeper (AnnetteCrosbie), an event unlikely in real life,as for many years Reid was the partner of Michael Richmond, the writer and director. He appeared in two of Richmond's successful West End musicals, Wild Wild Women and The Lady and the Tiger . Richmond died in 1988. In 1969,Reid joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and played Sebastian opposite Judi Dench's Viola in Twelfth Night. His role as Aherle in RichardII was one of his passions,but he also played Macbeth and Lear,and two years ago excelled as Polonius in Hamlet at the Cannizaro Park Festival,London.

Radio work was also close to Reid and he was four times a member of the BBC Radio Drama Company and was a regular on plays on Radios 3 and 4. His films include MansfieldPark and The Others. Appropriately enough he died,as he had lived,on the stage.

James Gordon Reid,actor. Born June 8,1939; died November 26, 2003.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 16, 2003
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