Johnny Beattie, theater and screen artist, dies at age 93


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Media captionThe great Scottish actor Johnny Beattie dies at the age of 93

Scottish actor and comedian Johnny Beattie died at the age of 93.

The artist is said to have died peacefully after a short stay at St Margaret’s hospice near Glasgow.

His showbusiness career extended to roles in television and film, variety theater, stand-up and pantomime.

Many regarded him as a giant of the Scottish comic scene, appearing in Scotch and Wry and Rab C Nesbitt. Her most recent role was that of Malcolm Hamilton on the BBC River City soap opera.

“Escape from the shipyards”

Beattie honed her entertainment skills while keeping a job at the Fairfield shipyard in Govan.

In 2012 – as he celebrated his 60th birthday in the industry – the Norwegian Glas told BBC Scotland: “These were tough places. None of the health and safety you would have today, ”he recalls.

“They were dangerous and it was an escape route. ”

Beattie “escaped” in the 1950s, touring with a theater company in a small part, and before long, writing and acting in the show.

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BBC Scotland / Limelight Productions


A young Johnny Beattie photographed behind the scenes of his dressing room in a 1950s variety theater performance.

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BBC Scotland / Limelight Productions


Johnny Beattie photographed in the early 1960s

The 1960s saw the broadcast of Johnny Beattie’s Saturday Night Show which lasted until 1970.

Her screen roles included the movie The Big Man with Billy Connolly and Liam Neeson, as well as Taggart, Rab C Nesbitt and Scotch and Wry.

His other television roles have included him in quiz shows, like Now You See It, and family entertainment like Welcome to The Ceilidh.

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Alan Peebles


Johnny Beattie with River City co-stars on his last day of shooting.

He appeared in River City as Shieldinch’s “old wise owl”, Malcolm Hamilton, from the first release of the soap in 2002 until his retirement in 2015.

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PA Media


The artist received his MBE from Prince Charles

In 2007 Beattie was named MBE on the Queen’s birthday honors list.

The father of four received the award for his lifelong entertainment and charitable services.

“A national treasure”

Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon was among those who visited social media to pay tribute to Beattie.

She wrote on Twitter that “the extremely talented artist” was a “national treasure”.

Other actors have also thought about working with him.

Leah MacRae – who also appeared on River City – said working with him was “a highlight of his career” and praised his exceptional talent.

River City actor Gary Lamont said he was “a legend and a real star.”

Scottish Karen team officer Karen Bartke said he was a “real giant” and “a really lovely man”.

Donalda MacKinnon, Director of the BBC in Scotland, said: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of comedy and theater legend Johnny Beattie.

“He has appeared in many popular BBC programs and recently delighted audiences for 13 years as a lovable and lovable Malcolm Hamilton father in River City.

“Our thoughts are now with Johnny’s family during this difficult time.

“Johnny Beattie has dedicated his life to entertaining others and we thank him for the joy and laughter he has brought to the audience throughout his long and varied career. “


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