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David McGillivray obituary

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1999-07-29 Stage.jpg


Legend has it that Belfast-born character actor Deccan Mulholland, who died on June 29 at the age of 66, broke into the business when he offered to paint scenery at the Theatre Royal Stratford East. Struck by his imposing girth, director Joan Littlewood instead offered him an acting role.

From the early sixties, Mulholland worked regularly in films and television, mostly playing bit parts. He was remarkably versatile - as likely to play a lord as a navvy - and was particularly useful in period drama, where he played blacksmiths, soldiers and publicans.

He also had a parallel career on the stage. where he had more substantial roles, often in classical drama. His credits

26 included Baal, at the Phoenix (1963) and The Threepenny Opera, at the Prince of Wales in 1972 and The Playboy of the Western World, at Birmingham Rep in 1994.

More recently, he wrote and directed on the London fringe.

Mulholland made more than 200 television appearances notably in As You Like It (1963), The Three Musketeers (1966) and The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1973). He was also in episodes of The Avengers, Dr Finlay's Casebook, The Onedin Line, Please Sir!, Doctor Who, Casualty and, in 1996, Madsen.

His first film was HMS Defiant in 1962. Others included The Charge of the Light Bngade (1968), The Ruling Class (1971), Theatre of Blood (1973) - in which he was billed as 'Eighth Meths Drinker' - and latterly two films shot in Ireland, War of the Buttons (1993) and The Run of the Country (1995).

His last role was the lead in a short film, The Pig's Family, in 1997.

Mulholland found moderate cult fame for a film in which he did not appear. In 1977, George Lucas booked him to play Jabba the Hut in the original Star Wars film, but cut his scenes from the finished print.

He restored them for the special edition - issued on video in 1995 - but Mulholland remained invisible behind computerised animation.

According to newspaper reports, Mulholland had recently returned from a Star Wars convention in Oldham when he collapsed in the street near his home in London's Primrose Hill. His body was unidentified for some days.

He never married but he is survived by a sister.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Mulholland, Declan (1999-07-29). David McGillivray obituary. The Stage p. 26.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Mulholland, Declan. "David McGillivray obituary." The Stage [add city] 1999-07-29, 26. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Mulholland, Declan. "David McGillivray obituary." The Stage, edition, sec., 1999-07-29
  • Turabian: Mulholland, Declan. "David McGillivray obituary." The Stage, 1999-07-29, section, 26 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=David McGillivray obituary | url= | work=The Stage | pages=26 | date=1999-07-29 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 June 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=David McGillivray obituary | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 June 2024}}</ref>