Line of Duty star Brian McCardie's cause of sudden death revealed by heartbroken family

Brian McCardie as Tommy Hunter in Line of Duty -Credit:BBC
Brian McCardie as Tommy Hunter in Line of Duty -Credit:BBC

The family of Brian McCardie, the actor who portrayed mob boss John Thomas 'Tommy' Hunter in the BBC's Line of Duty, have revealed the cause of his sudden death at the age of 59.

McCardie, who also appeared as Sir Marcus MacRannoch in Outlander and was set to star in the upcoming prequel Blood of My Blood, passed away in April at his home. His wife Sarah announced his death on social media, saying: "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Brian James McCardie, beloved son, brother, uncle and dear friend to so many."

She added: "Brian passed away suddenly at home on Sunday 28th April. A wonderful and passionate actor on stage and screen, Brian loved his work and touched many lives, and is gone much too soon. We love him and will miss him greatly; please remember Brian in your thoughts. Funeral arrangements will be announced in the days ahead."

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Following the news, a statement from Line Of Duty producers Jed Mercurio and Simon Heath and the team behind the hit show, said: "We are deeply saddened to hear of Brian McCardie’s death. We feel honoured to have worked with Brian on Line Of Duty. Brian was an incredibly talented actor, and the lasting impact he had as Tommy Hunter is testament to the power of his performance."

The statement added: "Off screen, Brian couldn’t have been more different from the character he played – he was warm, funny and charming. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this difficult time."

Brian McCardie and Sean Bean in TIME
Brian starred alongside Sean Bean (pictured) and Stephen Graham in BBC's Time -Credit:BBC Studios

The cause of McCardie's untimely death has now been shared by his sister, who provided an update on social media. She also announced that his funeral will be held on Thursday, reports the Mirror.

The actor died suddenly from an aortic dissection, which is a rare and often fatal condition where the wall of the aorta tears.

In the poignant post the family said: "Hi all, the McCardie family would like to thank everyone for their overwhelming support regarding the sudden passing of Brian James McCardie, beloved son, brother, uncle and friend.

"Brian died due to an aortic dissection, causing short pain and a sudden death. There will be a funeral mass held on Thursday 23rd May at 11.30am at St Mary's Church, 70 Bannatyne Street, Lanark."

Detailing the plans for his last rites, they added: "We then move on at 1.30pm to Holytown Crematorium, Memorial Way, Holytown, Motherwell, where we will celebrate Brian's life before he takes his final bow. There will be links available to both the mass and the cremation service for those who cannot attend in person."

The family concluded: "We will feel your support from afar. With love and thanks, The McCardie family, Eddie, Moira, Martin, Ed, Liz and Sarah. Xxx."

Photo of actor Brian McCardie as Terry in Dog Days. Line Of Duty and Rob Roy star Brian McCardie has died aged 59, his agent has confirmed.
Among his many roles, Brian McCardie starred as Terry in Dog Days -Credit:Grant Keelan/BBC/PA Wire

In the wake of Brian's passing, fitting tributes were paid by his famous friends and colleagues. Author Paul Larkin said: "Shocked and devastated to learn of the passing of Brian McCardie. Brian was a brilliant friend and we had many discussions about mental health issues where he was a fantastic help to me. As well as that; he was a phenomenal actor. Sleep tight Brother."

George Clark posted: "Aw sorry to hear this. Was a presence on everything he was in. Especially Filth and Crime. RIP." Director Alan Bowman Clarke commented: "I'm saddened to hear about the death of legendary actor #brianmccardie. I spoke to him a few times about projects and always found him genuine, passionate, generous and funny. I wrote a part for him in a future project. My thoughts go out to his family, friends and colleagues."

Brian boasted numerous acting credits over his 35-year career on TV and the big screen. He starred opposite Sean Bean in the popular 2021 BBC prison crime drama Time and in Irvine Welsh's TV series Crime. His film appearances included Rob Roy, Irvine Welsh's Filth and the thriller Low Winter Sun alongside Mark Strong.

In the film Rob Roy, Brian took on the role of Alasdair MacGregor, brother to the main character portrayed by Liam Neeson. His acting credits also include the 2019 Netflix series The Last Czars, and BBC productions such as Time in 2021, where he starred alongside Sean Bean, Dog Days set in Dundee, and Agatha Christie's Murder Is Easy slated for 2023.

He was currently working with actors including Sara Vickers, Harriet Slater, Jamie Roy and Peter Mullan on a forthcoming series focusing on the lives of the parents of Outlander character Jamie Fraser.