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Andy Armour

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Last Updated: 08 November 2020

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Andy Armour

Date of birth24 July 1883
Date of death4 March 1955 (1955-03-04) (aged 71)
Full nameAndrew D. Armour
Place of birthIrvine , Scotland
Place of deathKilmarnock , Scotland
Playing position(s)Outside right

His acting career has taken off again in recent years. He had a major supporting role in award-winning Scottish thriller Red Road and was expected to play the lead in the sequel, which would belatedly have given him his first starring role. Recasting of role was particularly ironic because the film had been conceived as the first in a three-film series by quirky Danish film-maker Lars von Trier, who laid down rules that each film should have the same characters and actors, though they would have different directors and writers and would even be different genres. Armour's character, Alfred, was the main character in the second film, but ultimately, film-makers decided that he was not right for the part as rewritten and it went to James Cosmo. The film, currently titled Rounding Up Donkeys, is still to come out. It had been the subject of rewrites, hold-ups and postponements and when it went ahead earlier this year, Armour had already been diagnosed with cancer. He kept quiet about his condition, he had desperately wanted to do film and was heartbroken to lose role. He was further hit by the recent death of one of his daughters. The son of a carpenter, Andrew Wilson Armour was born in Glasgow in 1924, though like many actors he liked to make out he was younger than he was. Actresses traditionally knock a year or two off their age, but when I first spoke to him back in 2006, Armour insisted he was 67, when he was actually 81. He had a tough early life growing up in Gorbals. He used to sneak into Crown cinema to watch Hopalong Cassidy westerns and head for Hollywood in his teens. Although he does get a couple of minor roles, he found more work as a freelance showbiz journalist, interviewing stars such as Marlon Brando and Kirk Douglas, and latterly, as a publicist for CBS television. Back in England, he worked as a theatre publicist and won a scholarship to Rada, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where John Hurt was a contemporary and friend. He was in his thirties by this time, which squares with his real age-his dates never made much sense before. Armour was told he would get nowhere with the name Andy and change it to Richard, under which name he appeared regularly on British TV throughout the 1960s and early 1970s in series such as Z Cars, Dr Finlay's Casebook and Sweeney. One of his more prestigious roles was as Jack Cardigan, in the original BBC adaptation of Forsyte Saga. It was a huge TV event at the time, with an audience of 18 million. In 1970s, roles fell away and he worked as a taxi-driver, while writing novels and doing occasional acting role. He recalls that a chance meeting with Graham Greene led to lengthy correspondence and literary tips, though his novels were never publish.

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