THE great Dundee-born actor, Brian Cox, was disarmingly frank the other night when he spoke to the media after winning a Golden Globe award. Clutching the trophy presented to him in the category, Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Drama, for his role in Succession, Cox was asked about the significance of the moment, almost 60 years into his career.

“Well, I never thought I’d make it,” he began. “I thought my sell-by date had come quite some time ago and then, thanks to Jesse Armstrong [creator of Succession], who revitalised ... Actually, that’s not fair. I’ve been doing reasonably well; I can’t complain.

“But then a role like Logan Roy just comes along once in a generation, once in a lifetime, and when you’re given a gift like that, you go, ‘wow’. And it’s down to Jesse. He called me; he didn’t have to. But he did, and I’m eternally grateful to him. This is really good. This is really nice. Thank you”.

In Succession, an HBO drama, Cox plays ageing, wily, charismatic Logan Roy, the head of Waystar Royco, one of the world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerates. Watching in the wings as he begins to step back from the business are his feuding, ambitious sons and daughter. Asked at the Golden Globes whether he was playing Rupert Murdoch, Cox replied crisply, “No. I am playing Logan Roy. Logan Roy is totally our creation”.

Brian Cox was born in June, 1946 in Dundee. In a 2014 interview with Scottish Field, he recalled his fondness for the city when he was growing up. “Sadly”, he continued, “my father died when I was eight, which was a family tragedy that marred that whole stage of my life and ruined the city for me.” His death plunged the family into poverty.

From an early age he was a fan of the movies, and knew that he wanted to be an actor. At 15 he got a job in the city’s Old Rep, and that led, eventually, to smaller stage roles, then bigger ones. At 17 he left for London’s Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He made his London stage debut in 1967, in As You Like It, and went on to appear in numerous West End, Royal Court, National Theatre (including King Lear, in 1990) and Royal Shakespeare Company productions; his RSC dramas included Titus Andronicus, in 1987 (“it’s really the most interesting thing I’ve ever done in the theatre,” he once said).

Cox has also had many roles on radio and on film and television. He has played everyone from Bob Servant to, in Michael Mann’s 1986 film, Manhunter, Dr Hannibal Lecktor. His films have also included Braveheart, Rob Roy, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, X Men: Days of Future Past, and Churchill.

He is pictured here (by Martin Shields, in 2003) with a Bowmore Scottish Screen Award, and (by Colin Mearns) outside the BBC Scotland HQ at Pacific Quay, Glasgow, in 2012.

Read more: Herald Diary