Gordon Fulton, who died in September 2016 aged 67, attended the school from 1960-1967. In his final year he was Headboy. He was one of the first students to enrol at the New University of Ulster.
At one stage, Gordon had planned to become a Presbyterian minister, but instead, he taught English at Foyle College for most of the 1970s. Although his obituaries said that he started his acting career with the Derry-based amateur group, the 71 Players, in fact he had been a leading actor in the school’s drama productions in the mid-1960s, playing Hotspur in Henry IV, Part One in 1965 and in Molière’s The Miser, as the eponymous Harpagon the following year.
At the age of 33, he gave up teaching and went to study at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. After he returned to Ireland he worked alongside the acclaimed Kerry playwright, John B Keane, in Tralee and with Roma Tomelty’s Centre Stage Company, where he added challenging roles to his repertoire such as Krapp’s Last Tape and Last of the Red Hot Lovers. He also acted with the Tinderbox Theatre Company and one of his last stage roles was as a priest in a Brassneck Theatre Company production of The Sweety Bottle at the Grand Opera House in Belfast.
Roma Tomelty said Gordon was a consummate actor who could play a huge range of parts, from Shakespeare to Sam Cree. She added: “He also took classes in our summer schools for 20 years and passed on his enthusiasm about Shakespeare to hundreds of children who called him The Legend”.
In 2012 Gordon was seen by millions of Game of Thrones fans right across the world in the second season of the hit HBO series. He played the role of Lord Portan in one episode, The North Remembers.
Gordon had been supported by the Arts Council with a residency award allowing him to work with the Stanislavski Theatre Group in the USA. In 2011 he appeared in the Conor McPherson play, The Weir, in the Keegan Theatre in Washington DC, where he had studied in the 1980s. He also had a number of roles in films like Salt on Our Skin, Wilderness, and Sunset Heights.
But it was his portrayal of Sammy the barman in Give My Head Peace which got him recognised in Northern Ireland long after the character had vanished off the TV screens.
Gordon is survived by his wife, Ann, their two sons and a granddaughter.