Tributes to Carron River City actor Brian Cowan: Gentle, kind, funny and pithy

Tributes have been paid to a former River City actor and Tryst Theatre member who died aged 58.

Brian Cowan was found in his home in Carron on Saturday afternoon, police have confirmed.

He is thought to have died of natural causes.

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An ex-Larbert High School pupil, Mr Cowan starred in various Tryst plays before securing a role as Murray Crozier in the BBC soap from 2010 to 2014.

Carron resident Brian Cowan starred as Murray Crozier in River City. Picture: BBC/Alan Peebles.
Carron resident Brian Cowan starred as Murray Crozier in River City. Picture: BBC/Alan Peebles.

Martin McCardie, River City series producer , said: “We’re deeply saddened to hear of Brian’s passing. He was a valued member of the family.”

Tom Urie, who played Big Bob, tweeted: “So sad to hear of the passing of my River City colleague Brian Cowan. He was a lovely man and a great actor.”

Mr Cowan, who supported Falkirk FC, was a father to Blair and Isla.

He featured in Taggart from 1993 to 2005 as DCS Brian Holmes and made appearances in EastEnders, Casualty and The Bill.

Best friend Stuart Traynor revealed others were drawn to the actor, who he met aged 16 through a youth theatre group, due to his innate kindness.

He said: “Brian was a class act – very gentle and kind but funny and pithy.

“He was warm and had an inherent shyness but became an actor and it allowed him to understand other human beings. His empathy for others stood out.

“Brian took his ability as an actor and used it to become a celebrant in 2014.

“When he talked to a family, he found out all about that person and used his acting to think, ‘How can I portray that human being to an audience?’

“People just warmed to him. He had this ability to attract.

“We had a life-long friendship that was just an absolute gift.”

Jon Reid, Larbert High rector, said: “The Larbert High School community was saddened to hear of the passing of Brian Cowan.

“As a former pupil, his longstanding acting career was a catalyst and inspiration to many young people and our thoughts and condolences are very much with his family and friends at this sad time.”

A Falkirk FC spokesman said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Brian’s family at this difficult time.”

A police spokeswoman said: “There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and the procurator fiscal has been informed.”

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