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'UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS' ACTOR GORDON JACKSON DIES AT 66
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'UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS' ACTOR GORDON JACKSON DIES AT 66

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Actor Gordon Jackson, who played the butler in ``Upstairs, Downstairs' and brought his mellifluous Scots accent to dozens of films, stage and television roles, has died, his agent said. He was 66. Jackson died Sunday in London's Cromwell Hospital with his wife, Rona, at his side, Michael Anderson said. The cause of death was not disclosed, but Anderson said Jackson had been ill for a short time.

The tall, ginger-haired Jackson started acting as a teenager soon after the outbreak of World War II. His rueful expression first typecast him as a coward and a weakling, although maturity brought him a greater variety of roles.His acting career spanned nearly half a century and included more than 60 film credits, but he was best known for his role as the stiff-upper-lipped butler Hudson in the internationally successful television series ``Upstairs, Downstairs' from 1970 to 1975.

He won a British Actor of the Year award in 1974 for the series, reruns of which are still being shown in the United States.

Jackson, described as gentle and self-effacing by friends, once said: ``My trouble is that I'm underconfident and I'm too tentative. I'm not a go-getter and I never have been.

``It's only when the curtain goes up and the cameras start to roll that I don't enjoy this business.'

His film credits included ``Whisky Galore' in 1948, ``Mutiny on the Bounty' in 1961, 'The Great Escape' in 1962, ``The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' in 1968 and ``The Whistle Blower' in 1986.

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