Ian Bannen (1928 - 1999)

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Ian Bannen (29 June 1928 – 3 November 1999) was a Scottish character actor and occasional leading man.
Bannen was known for starring as Christopher Lowe in From Beyond the Grave (1974), Jim Prideaux in the BBC production of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) and Jackie O'Shea in Waking Ned Devine (1998). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Flight of the Phoenix (1965), as well as the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for both The Offence (1972) and Hope and Glory (1987).
Bannen was born in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, the son of Clare (née Galloway) and John James Bannen, a lawyer. Bannen served in the British Army after attending St Aloysius' College, Glasgow and Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire. His first acting role came in a 1947 Dublin stage production of Armlet of Jade. He became a successful figure on the London stage, making a name for himself in the plays of both Shakespeare and Eugene O'Neill. He was an original member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and appeared on Broadway as well.
His film debut occurred in the early 1950s with a small role in Pool of London (1951), and he quickly rose to prominence, primarily in a wide range of supporting roles. He had a very significant role as Stoker Samuel Bannister in Yangtse Incident. During the early stages of his career he worked with the Boulting Brothers on Private's Progress and Carlton-Browne of the F.O.. His performance as Crow in The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, making him the first Scottish actor to receive this honour; he also received a Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year - Actor. That same year, he starred alongside Sean Connery in the WW2 prison drama, The Hill.
His notable television appearances include parts in Doctor Finlay, Thriller, and as a schoolteacher and ex-spy in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Acclaim
Ian Bannen received an Academy Award nomination in 1965 for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance in The Flight of the Phoenix as Ratbags Crow, one of the survivors of a plane crash. He also received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as suspected child molester Kenneth Baxter in The Offence (1972). He also won acclaim for his roles as Brother Benedict in Lamb (1986), Grandfather George in John Boorman's Hope and Glory (1987) (for which he received a second Best Supporting Actor BAFTA nomination), the elder Robert de Brus in Braveheart (1995) and as the touchingly crafty villager in Waking Ned Devine (1998).
In 1996, he was honoured with the BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award. Death: Bannen was killed, aged 71, in a car accident by Loch Ness in November 1999. He and his wife, Marilyn Salisbury, who had been driving, were discovered in an overturned vehicle at Knockies Straight between Inverness and Fort Augustus. His wife, a veterinarian for the Ministry of Agriculture, suffered only minor injuries. The couple had been married since 1976; they had no children.
Legacy
Coatbridge College, Lanarkshire annually presents the Ian Bannen Memorial Award to the best actor or actress in its classes.
Bannen was posthumously given the 2000 Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award.
Partial filmography
See also: List of actors who have appeared in multiple Best Picture Academy Award winners
Private's Progress (1956) as Private Horrocks
The Long Arm (1956) as The Young Workman
Yangtse Incident: The Story of H.M.S. Amethyst (1957) as AB Bannister RN
Miracle in Soho (1957) as Filipo Gozzi
The Birthday Present (1957) as Junior Customs Officer
A Tale of Two Cities (1958) as Gabelle
She Didn't Say No! (1958) as Peter Howard
Behind the Mask (1958) as Alan Crabtree
Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (1959) as Young King Loris
A French Mistress (1960) as Colin Crane, The Headmaster's Son
Suspect (1960) as Alan Andrews
World in My Pocket (1961) as Kitson
Station Six-Sahara (1962) as Fletcher
Psyche 59 (1964) as Paul
The Hill (1965) as Staff Sergeant Harris
Mister Moses (1965) as Robert
Rotten to the Core (1965) as Lt. Percy Vine
Flight of the Phoenix (1965) as Crow
Penelope (1966) as James B. Elcott
The Sailor from Gibraltar (1967) as Alan
Lock Up Your Daughters (1969) as Ramble
Too Late the Hero (1970) as Pvt. Jock Thornton
Jane Eyre (1970) as St. John Rivers
The Deserter (1971) as British Army Capt. Crawford
Fright (1971) as Brian
Doomwatch (1972) as Dr. Del Shaw
The Offence (1972) as Kenneth Baxter
The Mackintosh Man (1973) as Slade
From Beyond the Grave (1974) as Christopher Lowe
(segment 2 "An Act of Kindness")
Il Viaggio (1974) as Antonio Braggi
The Driver's Seat (1974) as Bill
The Gathering Storm (1974) as Adolf Hitler
Bite the Bullet (1975) as Sir Harry Norfolk
Sweeney! (1977) as Charles baker
Jesus of Nazareth (1977) as Amos
The Inglorious Bastards (1977) as Col. Charles Thomas Buckner
Ring of Darkness (it) (1979) as The Professor
The Watcher in the Woods (1980) as John Keller
Eye of the Needle (1981) as Godliman
Night Crossing (1982) as Josef keller
Gandhi (1982) as Senior Officer Fields
The Prodigal (1983) as Riley Wyndham
Gorky Park (1983) as Iamskoy
Lamb (1985) as Brother Benedict
Defence of the Realm (1985) as Dennis Markham
Hope and Glory (1987) as Grandfather George
La Partita (1988) as Father of Francesco
The Courier (1988) as McGuigan
The Lady and the Highwayman (1989) as Christian Drysdale
Streghe (1989) as Father Matthew
George's Island (1989) as Captain Waters
Circles in a Forest (1990) as MacDonald
Ghost Dad (1990) as Sir Edith Moser
The Big Man (1990) as Matt Mason
Speaking of the Devil (1991) as Luzifer
The Treaty (1991) as Davd Lloyd George
The Sound and the Silence (1991) as Melville
Damage (1992) as Edward Llyod
A Pin for the Butterfly (1994) as Grandpa
Braveheart (1995) as The Leper
Something to Believe In (1998) as Don Pozzi
Waking Ned Devine (1998) as Jackie O'Shea
To Walk with Lions (1999) as Terence Adamson
Best (2000) as Sir Matt Busby
The Testimony of Taliesin Jones (2000) as Billy Evans (final film role)

Ian Bannen Biography & Family History

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Birth

at Scotland,
Scotland

Death

at Scotland,

Cause of death

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Obituary

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Family

Mother: Clara Galloway Bannen
Father: John Bannen

Education

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Professions

Partial filmography
See also: List of actors who have appeared in multiple Best Picture Academy Award winners
The Dark Avenger (1955) as French Knight (uncredited)
Private's Progress (1956) as Private Horrocks
The Long Arm (1956) as The Young Workman
Yangtse Incident: The Story of H.M.S. Amethyst (1957) as AB Bannister RN
Miracle in Soho (1957) as Filipo Gozzi
The Birthday Present (1957) as Junior Customs Officer
A Tale of Two Cities (1958) as Gabelle
She Didn't Say No! (1958) as Peter Howard
Behind the Mask (1958) as Alan Crabtree
Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (1959) as Young King Loris
A French Mistress (1960) as Colin Crane, The Headmaster's Son
Suspect (1960) as Alan Andrews
World in My Pocket (1961) as Kitson
Station Six-Sahara (1962) as Fletcher
Psyche 59 (1964) as Paul
The Hill (1965) as Staff Sergeant Harris
Mister Moses (1965) as Robert
Rotten to the Core (1965) as Lt. Percy Vine
Flight of the Phoenix (1965) as Crow
Penelope (1966) as James B. Elcott
The Sailor from Gibraltar (1967) as Alan
Lock Up Your Daughters (1969) as Ramble
Too Late the Hero (1970) as Pvt. Jock Thornton
Jane Eyre (1970) as St. John Rivers
The Deserter (1971) as British Army Capt. Crawford
Fright (1971) as Brian
Doomwatch (1972) as Dr. Del Shaw
The Offence (1972) as Kenneth Baxter
The Mackintosh Man (1973) as Slade
From Beyond the Grave (1974) as Christopher Lowe (segment 2 "An Act of Kindness")
Il Viaggio (1974) as Antonio Braggi
The Driver's Seat (1974) as Bill
The Gathering Storm (1974) as Adolf Hitler
Bite the Bullet (1975) as Sir Harry Norfolk
Sweeney! (1977) as Charles baker
Jesus of Nazareth (1977) as Amos
The Inglorious Bastards (1977) as Col. Charles Thomas Buckner
Ring of Darkness [it] (1979) as The Professor
The Watcher in the Woods (1980) as John Keller
Eye of the Needle (1981) as Godliman
Night Crossing (1982) as Josef keller
Gandhi (1982) as Senior Officer Fields
The Prodigal (1983) as Riley Wyndham
Gorky Park (1983) as Iamskoy
Lamb (1985) as Brother Benedict
Defence of the Realm (1985) as Dennis Markham
Hope and Glory (1987) as Grandfather George
La Partita (1988) as Father of Francesco
The Courier (1988) as McGuigan
The Lady and the Highwayman (1989) as Christian Drysdale
Streghe (1989) as Father Matthew
George's Island (1989) as Captain Waters
Circles in a Forest (1990) as MacDonald
Ghost Dad (1990) as Sir Edith Moser
The Big Man (1990) as Matt Mason
Speaking of the Devil (1991) as Luzifer
The Treaty (1991) as Davd Lloyd George
The Sound and the Silence (1991) as Melville
Damage (1992) as Edward Llyod
A Pin for the Butterfly (1994) as Grandpa
Braveheart (1995) as The Leper
Something to Believe In (1998) as Don Pozzi
Waking Ned (1998) as Jackie O'Shea
To Walk with Lions (1999) as Terence Adamson
Best (2000) as Sir Matt Busby
The Testimony of Taliesin Jones (2000) as Billy Evans (final film role)

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Male

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Timeline

1928 - In the year that Ian Bannen was born, aviatrix Amelia Earhart, age 31, became the first woman to fly solo across North America and back in August. In June, she had been part of a 3 man crew that flew the Atlantic Ocean but since she had no instrument training, she couldn't fly the plane - she kept the flight log. The North American flight became one of her many "firsts" as a female pilot.

1959 - By the time he was 31 years old, on August 8th, Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States. The US flag was changed to show 50 stars.

1976 - When he was 48 years old, on August 4th, a mysterious illness struck an American Legion convention in Philadelphia. Within a week, 25 people had died and 130 people had been hospitalized. It was the first known instance of what came to be called "Legionnaires Disease."

1997 - He was 69 years old when on August 31st, Princess Diana of Great Britain was killed when her car crashed into a pillar in the tunnel under the Pont de l'Alma bridge in Paris. The car she was riding in was trying to evade the paparazzi but it was also discovered later that the driver of the car, who was also killed, had three times the legal limit of alcohol which likely contributed to the accident.

1999 - In the year of Ian Bannen's passing, on January 1st, the Euro became the new official single currency of the eurozone. It was used by Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain and has since spread in use. Daily, over 337 million Europeans use the euro.

Ian Bannen Family Tree

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Obituary

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THE SCOTTISH actor Ian Bannen, who just three years ago received a lifetime achievement award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, was a versatile performer who did notable work in plays by Shakespeare and O'Neill, made over 50 films, winning an Oscar nomination for one of them, and also worked often on television where he successfully played Dr Cameron, the seasoned Highland medical practitioner, in a revival of the popular series Dr Finlay's Casebook. His career was currently enjoying a resurgence after his acclaimed performance last year of an Irish con-man in the hit comedy Waking Ned. Born in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, in 1928, the only son of a lawyer, he was educated at Ratcliffe College, Leicestershire. A lover of films as a boy - he later confessed he would sneak out of school to watch Jean Gabin movies - he served as a corporal in the Army before making his stage debut at the Gate Theatre in Dublin in 1947 as the Emperor's son in the play Armlet of Jade.
In 1951 he joined the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company at Stratford-upon-Avon and remained with them for four seasons which included in 1953 a year's tour of Australia and New Zealand. His London stage debut came in 1955 when he played in Prisoners of War at the small Irving Theatre, but he first attracted important notice the following year with his portrayal of the virile Marco, the older of two immigrant brothers in Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge, presented at the Comedy Theatre which had been turned into a club in order to mount three plays banned at that time by the Lord Chamberlain (the other two were Tea and Sympathy and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof).
In 1958 he made the first of several appearances in the works of Eugene O'Neill with a highly praised portrayal of Hickey in The Iceman Cometh. Kenneth Tynan called Bannen "perfect" as "the manic salesman, driving his friends to destruction with the enthusiasm of a revivalist" in this fondly recalled production directed by Peter Wood. Later the same year Bannen was in O'Neill's autobiographical masterpiece Long Day's Journey Into Night, playing Jamie, based on the older brother of Eugene (called Edmund in the play) at the Edinburgh Festival and subsequently at the Globe in London. Tynan wrote, "Ian Bannen gets easily to the heart of the elder brother, especially in the last-act debauch when he confesses to Edmund how much he hates and envies him." (Twenty-five years later Bannen was to play the same character at a later stage of his life in O'Neill's Moon for the Misbegotten.)
Bannen made his screen debut in 1956 in the Boulting Brothers' hit comedy Private's Progress and served as a reliable supporting player in many subsequent films, including Yangtse Incident (1957), A Tale of Two Cities (1958), and Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (1959). In a 1960 version of Macbeth made for American television but subsequently released to cinemas, he played Macduff, and the following year he went back to Stratford to play several pivotal roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company including a flinty Iago in Othello, Orlando in As You Like It (with Vanessa Redgrave), Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and the title role in Hamlet. It was after a performance of Hamlet that he met Marilyn Salisbury, a Ministry of Agriculture assistant, who had inadvertently parked in his reserved space. Unable to start her van, she was trying to fix it when Bannen appeared. "I had on the only French dress I ever possessed, cream silk," she later related, "and I was grease from head to foot." The couple became close friends, but it was 17 years before they married. At the Dublin and Venice Festivals in 1962 Bannen returned to O'Neill with an acclaimed portrayal of Cornelius Melody in A Touch of the Poet. He was given his first leading screen role in Seth Holt's Station Six- Sahara, as one of five men fighting over a glamorous blonde (Carroll Baker) who crash-lands at their desert oasis. Bannen himself played the survivor of a crashed aeroplane in Robert Aldrich's Flight of the Phoenix (1965). The film had a strong line-up of stars headed by James Stewart, but Bannen's performance was distinctive enough to win him an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor. The actor afterwards stated that he, Peter Finch and other actors would go to a different bar every night during the film's location shooting. Bannen was later to be a regular drinking companion of Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton, but after a spell of hepatitis was forced to give up alcohol. He played Natalie Wood's husband in Arthur Hiller's comedy Penelope (1966), co-starred with Jeanne Moreau in Sailor from Gibraltar (1967) and worked with Robert Aldrich again in the grim war film Too Late The Hero (1969). Sidney Lumet's intense thriller The Offence (1973), in which a frustrated detective (Sean Connery) beats a suspect to death, was also grim but Bannen won praise for his uncompromising portrayal of the ill-fated suspect who, in a taut cat-and-mouse game, causes the detective to acknowledge the darker side of his own character. In 1983 Bannen returned to the role of Jamie Tyrone, this time in O'Neill's Moon for the Misbegotten, with Frances de la Tour as his co-star. The play was a success, and the following year transferred to Broadway, though the experience was not a happy one for Bannen. He did not get along with his new co-star Kate Nelligan, and her intense performance, though greatly praised by the New York press, created what the critic Benedict Nightingale described as an "emotional unbalance" compared to that of de la Tour. "There must have been times," he wrote, "when Bannen felt like a flashlight battery expected to match the voltage of forked lightning."
The actor's many television credits include the betrayed agent who kills the mole in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979), the secret service agent "R" in Ashenden (1991) and Dr Cameron in the revival of the popular series Dr Finlay's Casebook (1993). Among his later films was John Boorman's affectionate portrait of life in wartime Britain, Hope and Glory (1987), in which Bannen made an indelible impression as the flamboyant grandfather, and Braveheart (1995), Mel Gibson's Oscar-winning film in which Bannen played the leper Lord Allendale.In Waking Ned (1998), he was the lovable pensioner Jackie O'Shea who persuades his village to claim a big lottery win after the ticket's owner dies of shock. The film was a hit in both Britain and the United States and won Bannen international approval.
Ian Bannen, actor: born Airdrie, Lanarkshire 29 June 1928; married 1976 Marilyn Sainsbury; died Knockies Straight, Inverness-shire 3 November 1999.

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