Actor, director and photographer
Born; March 7 1930; Died August 12, 2013.
Robert Trotter, who has died aged 83, was a talented actor and director who spent most of his career in theatre and television, before proving an able photographer in later life.
He will be remembered by many for his performance as Mr Murdoch in TVs Take the High Road, but his career was far more committed and extended than this comic role might suggest.
His life as an actor began in the 1950s, when he was a member, in his home town, of the Dumbarton People's Theatre, playing leads and character parts.
After completing his National Service as a Naval Coder, he trained as a teacher and taught English at Bellahouston Academy in Glasgow. Thereafter in 1965, he became a lecturer in drama at Glasgow University.
While doing so he found time to act in and direct productions for the prestigious Glasgow university Arts Theatre Group, of which he was a co-founder. Excellent reviews for his work from Christopher Small , within these pages, may have encouraged him to devote himself to theatre and radio acting.
The latter both here, and in London, allowed him to fulfil his talents, particularly his insightful characterisation, his timing and his honest feeling. The actress Edith Macarthur once summed up his gifts in a single word - "stunning".
Moving to London, Robert continued to work for the BBC, and played at the King's Head Theatre Club and the Royal Court, in plays by his fellow Scot, Tom Gallacher.
He was ever aware of Scottish writers, promoting, directing or playing in their works - including those of Joan Ure, Hector MacMillan, Eric MacDonald and Alasdair Gray.
He returned from London on being offered the posts of both assistant director at Dundee Rep and a directorship at Pitlochry Festival Theatre.
Settling on the former, Robert was also happy to direct freelance, at Pitlochry.
In 1982, his production of Peter Turrini's Josef and Maria, with Kay Gallie and John Shedden in the leads, was the first play to open the main house of the Tron Theatre.
Ever restless and creative, he now turned his attention to another intense interest; photography.
A trip to New York in the 1990s was one of discovery, and he was to return there again and again, armed with cameras and fascinated by the similarities he found there with the energy and pace of life in Glasgow.
This resulted in Sing the City, a publication in 2001 of his own photographs, a haunting collection that led in turn to an exhibition three years later at the Glasgow School of Art.
Sadly, his eyesight was quickly failing him and many of the projects he hoped to carry out could not be met.
Frail at the end, yet still strong in spirit, he left much of his work to the Glasgow School of Art Archive and more is to be found within the Scottish National Photography Collection held within the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. Robert was a fiercely proud Scot and we can be proud and grateful for his legacy.
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