Media Release: Scottish actress, Mary Riggans, has died

MARY Riggans, best known for her roles in High Road and Balamory died at the age of 78, peacefully in her sleep on Monday 2nd December.

Mary’s first acting role was in 1946, a radio voice-over at the tender age of ten, and had to stand on an orange crate to reach the microphone. She never looked back: acting was her sole ambition and raison d’être. Mary’s first TV role was in 1954, A Nest of Singing Birds (TV movie). She then went on to play a part in many TV, radio and theatre productions, working tirelessly whenever possible and teaching English as a supply teacher when parts were not forthcoming.

She graduated on Saturday 20th June 1959 from Glasgow University, obtaining what she always insisted on calling a “very ordinary” Master of Arts degree.

In 1983, she won the Sony Award – Radio Actress of the Year for her performance as Jean Armour in ‘Till A’ the Seas Run Dry’, by Donald Campbell.

In 1996, Mary was invited to the Reception for the presentation of Gold Awards in the presence of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.

She is best known for her role as Effie Macinnes in the Scottish Television soap opera, Take the High Road, from the early 80s until the last episode in 2003.

She also played Susie Sweet in Balamory, a children’s television programme broadcast by Cbeebies, from 2002-2005.

Mary had a stroke in April 2012. Her recovery was unfortunately poor: speech and movement were difficult from then on. She found it difficult to say yes and no, but she was still able to say reasonably complex words, her stock answer to most questions being: “Apparently so”.

She died peacefully holding her daughter’s hand at 4.40pm on 02 December 2013.


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Mobile: 07767 401 760,

Notes to Editors


2002 – 2005 Balamory (TV series)

Susie Sweet

2003 – 2004 Still Game (TV series)


2004 Dear Frankie


1987-1995 High Road (TV series)

Effie McInnes / Effie McDonald

1993 Screen One – Down among the big boys (with Billy Connolly) (TV series)

Older wife

1993 ABC Weekend Specials (TV series)

- The Legend of Lochnagar (1993) (voice – uncredited)

1993 I, Lovett (TV series)

- The Snowman (1993) … Spider (voice)

1988 -1992 Rab C. Nesbitt (TV series)

Charity Woman (1988) / Nurse (1992) / Prim Lady (1990)

1983 -1992 Taggart (TV series)

Mrs. Adams (1992) / Mrs. Ramsay (1983)

1990 Silent Mouse (TV movie)

Felix Gruber (voice)

1985 Duel with An Teallach (TV movie)

Crofter’s Wife

1972 -1982 Play for Today (TV series)

Betsie Hawkins / Careers adviser / Ellen / …

- The Silly Season (1982) … Ellen

- Degree of Uncertainty (1979) … Careers adviser

- The Thin End of the Wedge (1977) … Operator

- Just Another Saturday (1975)

- Just Your Luck (1972) … Betsie Hawkins

1981 Maggie (TV series)

Mrs. McKinley

1980 Square Mile of Murder (TV series)

1980 Scene (TV series)


1980 The Assassination Run (TV series)


1980 The White Bird Passes (TV movie)

1979 The Omega Factor (TV series)

Jean MacKenzie

1978 -The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (TV series)

Mrs. Rona Gardiner

1977 -The Mackinnons (TV series)


1976 Benny Lynch (TV movie)

Mrs. Lafferty

1975 – Jonah and the Whale (TV movie)


1973 – Sutherland’s Law (TV series)

Barbara Craig

- A Cry for Help (1973) … Barbara Craig

1973 – Weir of Hermiston (TV series)

Mrs. Elliott

1972 – The Duna Bull (short)


1964 -1970 Dr. Finlay’s Casebook (TV series)

Mrs. Ogilvy / Agnes Fraser / Annie McCall / …

- Dorrity (1970) … Annie McCall

- The Call (1969) … Agnes Fraser

- A Dove in the Nest (1969) … Mrs. Ogilvy

- Pastures New (1969) … Mrs. Ogilvy

- Devils Dozens (1965) … Mrs. Gellatly

1970 The Wednesday Play (TV series)

Mrs. Mann

- The Boy Who Wanted Peace (1970) … Mrs. Mann

1954 – A Nest of Singing Birds (TV movie)

Kirsty Kellas


The Ship

A Family Affair

Le Bourgeous Gentilhomme

A View From The Bridge

Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh

The Funeral

Scottish Tour

Parras Over The Barras

Pavilion Theatre

Til A’ The Seas Gang Dry

Brunton Theatre

‘Sam Cree’ Tours with Jimmy Logan

Salon Janette

Take Two Productions


Mother Goose (Queen Of Darknes)

Ayr Gaiety

Comic Fairy

Kings Theatre, Edinburgh

Cinderella (Fairy)

The Pavilion, Glasgow

The Sleeping Beauty (Queen)

Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline


Till A’ The Seas Gang Dry (Sony Radio Awards Actress of The Year)

Strathinver (Sony Radio Awards Best Production)

Hatters Castle

The Blood Is Strong

Enough Fingers To Make A Hand

Dr Finlay’s Casebook

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