Edith MacArthur (1926 – 2018) Ardrossan-born actress, most famous for her role in Scottish soap opera ‘Take the High Road’.

Edith was the eldest child of Donald MacArthur, a civil engineer and Minnie Ross. Born in Ardrossan on the 8th of March 1926, she attended Ardrossan Academy where she planned to become a music teacher but fell in love with acting when she became involved with the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Players. They were an award-winning amateur dramatics group who travelled overseas to perform, receiving many accolades.  

In the 1940s whilst studying at the Royal College of Music in Glasgow she also worked in the Admiralty’s Chart and Chronometer depot which was based in Saltcoats. 

After moving to London in 1960 she made her stage debut at the Savoy Theatre in a production of “The Gazebo” – a black comedy set in New York and went on to perform in with the Royal Shakespeare Company, productions of “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” and even pantomime! 

She is perhaps most famous for her role in “Take the High Road” where she played the “Lady Laird” from the very first episode in 1980 until 1986 when her character was killed off in a car crash.  

She went on to have a varied career both in television and theatre and was made an MBE for her contribution to the dramatic arts in 2000. She worked well into her 70s and a list of her achievements can be found on IMDB and in the National Library of Scotland. 

Edith was 92 years old when she died in Edinburgh in 2018 and in her obituary “The Scotsman” described her as an actress of “breathtaking elegance and beauty” with a “brilliant intelligence and wicked, earthy sense of humour.” 

Further Reading

Edith MacArthrur at the Internet Movie Database