Emmerdale Wiki
Emmerdale Wiki

Ronald Edmund Magill (21st April 1920 - 6th September 2007) was an English actor who portrayed Amos Brearly in Emmerdale between October 1972 and July 1995.

Early life[]

Ronald Edmund Magill was born in 1920 in Hull, East Yorkshire. The child of two teachers, his father died when he was aged 9 and he then grew up in an orphanage in Birmingham, visiting his mother in Ireland during the holidays. After leaving school he became a tyre salesman. During World War II Magill served in the Royal Corps of Signals and was a member of "Stars in Battledress". In Egypt he helped build a theatre where the company staged plays.

Stage career[]

Following the war, he worked with the Arena Theatre Company and rep. In 1961, Magill spent a year at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. In 1963 when he went to work at the Nottingham Playhouse, where he was later made artistic director and he stayed there until 1968. Magill directed many productions, and also wrote plays and translated others into English. In starred in the West End production of The Ruling Class and appeared at the Bristol Old Vic in Death of a Salesman and The Browning Version. His first television appearances were in 1969, in the programmes Special Branch and Parkin's Patch, and the following year appeared in the film Julius Caesar.

Emmerdale Farm[]

Ronald Magill joined the cast of Emmerdale Farm when the soap opera launched on 16th October 1972. He played Amos Brearly, a character who co-ran the The Woolpack with Henry Wilks and they became a double act for the next 19 years. His bushy sideburns, which he became famous for, were the result of having come to the audition from playing an Edwardian in a stage play and he was told they were perfect for the part. After his departure from Emmerdale, as it is now titled, in January 1991, Magill had his sideburns shaved off on Wogan. He reappeared as Amos for short-lived appearances in 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995, the latter when the character married Annie Sugden. His final appearance was on 7th July 1995.

Later years[]

After landing the part of Amos, he rarely appeared on the stage. Magill's boyfriend of 32 years, David Soar, died in 1997. Ten years later in 2007, Ronald Magill died aged 87.

Magill had been suffering from Bell's Palsy in the years leading up to his death. Even though actor Ronald Magill died in 2007, the fate of his iconic character Amos has never been fully addressed onscreen. It was merely hinted that he had died by 2009 when Jack Sugden died.

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