Famous Scottish playwright and artist, John Byrne, passes away at the age of 83.
The celebrated artist and playwright John Byrne, known for his successful works in various fields such as the popular BBC show Tutti Frutti, the Slab Boys theater trilogy, and even creating an album cover for the Beatles, passed away at 83 years old.
According to a statement released by the Fine Art Society on Friday morning, Scottish artist Byrne passed away on Thursday in the presence of his wife, Jeanine. He is remembered as a highly creative and adaptable artist by the society.
Byrne was born in Paisley and trained at the Glasgow School of Art. His early play, Slab Boys, debuted in 1978 and was inspired by his experiences working in the colour rooms of a carpet factory. It was later performed on Broadway in New York City, with Kevin Bacon, Sean Penn and Val Kilmer among the cast.
His much-loved BBC series Tutti Frutti, about an ageing rock’n’roll band attempting a tour of Scotland, starred Robbie Coltrane and Emma Thompson and won six Baftas.
In addition to being a skilled painter, Byrne was renowned for his self-portraits and creating stage designs and album covers, often for his close companions such as Gerry Rafferty and Billy Connolly.
His latest artwork is showcased on the ceiling of the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh, and another piece was created in Glasgow in honor of Connolly’s 75th birthday. Additionally, his paintings can be seen in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery.
According to Humza Yousaf, Byrne was a remarkable playwright, artist, and designer. The first minister of Scotland expressed that the country has experienced a great loss of a cultural legend, and the world is now a little less bright without him.
On X, Nicola Sturgeon stated that Byrne, who created her initial holiday card while she served as the first minister, was an extremely gifted playwright and artist. She also described him as one of Scotland’s most influential modern cultural figures and a kind-hearted person.
Scottish artist Alison Watt expressed her sadness upon hearing of the passing of the talented John Byrne. She described him as supremely gifted in both art and playwriting, as well as being generous, humorous, and incredibly stylish.
Byrne had a total of four children, one of whom is the actor Honor Byrne-Swinton, who was born to Oscar-winning actor Tilda Swinton.