John Stahl: Game of Thrones, Take the High Road and Rebus actor has died
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The 68-year-old was recently seen playing a fisherman in the 2018 blockbuster film Mary Queen of Scots.
But he was best known for his role as Tom 'Inverdarroch' Kerr in the ITV series Take the High Road, a soap opera set in the fictional Scottish village of Glendarroch. He was a series regular on the show between 1982 and 2003.
AHA Talents confirmed his death in a statement, which read: “We’re deeply saddened to report the death of our beloved friend and client John Stahl. He was an actor of the most remarkable skill, with a decades-long career gracing our screens and stages. We will miss him terribly.”
His agent, Amanda Fitzalan Howard, described him as “an actor of remarkable skill and a stalwart of Scottish theatre”.
She added: “He died on the Isle of Lewis on March 2nd 2022 and is survived by his wife, Jane Paton.”
Stahl, who was born in 1953 and grew up in Sauchie, Clackmannanshire, first started acting in 1976.
He found fame on television, but also had a wealth of stage credits to his name.
Theatre critic Joyce McMillan, who had seen the actor perform in several productions, said: “He had a tremendous, craggy stage presence in Scottish stage and screen and seemed to embody aspects of Scotland in his physical presence. That will be so missed.”
His last stage performance in Scotland was in 2018, when he performed in a production of ‘Rebus: Long Shadows’, a play about Ian Rankin’s iconic detective.
This was not his first introduction to Rankin’s stories. In 2007, he played a Reverend in an episode of the TV series based on the Inspector Rebus novels.
Northern Irish actor Derek Lord, who also featured in Take the High Road and Game of Thrones, wrote on Twitter: “Sorry to hear my old High Road colleague John Stahl has passed. I remember him being upset when some idiot in production decided to drop his character's name Inverdarroch and use Tom Kerr instead. He'll always be Inverdarroch to me, the only man to best Sneddon in a fair fight."
Another High Road co-star, comedian Andy Cameron, wrote: “John Stahl was a big man in every way. Thank you for being a pal John. Rest in Peace.”
Stahl featured in the second and third series of Game of Thrones. Speaking about his role in the HBO show in a 2019 interview, he said: “Part of the success of Game of Thrones is down to the fact the feeling within the company is so strong. Everyone believes in it. It was like High Road in that regard.
“People used to say to me ‘how could you be in High Road for so many years?’
“Part of the reason was that it was good fun being with the people who were in it. That was why High Road lasted. The similarity is everyone pulling together, making sure we’re relaxed enough to have a good time and therefore give good performances.”