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27 January 1950 |
Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK
Alexander Hugh "Alex" Norton (born 27 January 1950) is a Scottish television and film actor. He is perhaps best known for his roles as DCI Matt Burke in the STV detective drama series Taggart and Eddie in the Renford Rejects. He has also had roles in internationally successful films including Braveheart, Local Hero and Les Misérables.
Norton was born in Househillwood, Glasgow and spent his childhood in Moffat Street in the Gorbals before moving to Pollokshaws. He discovered acting at the age of 14 via an out-of-school drama group. This led to his part in the TV series Dr. Finlay's Casebook and with it the decision that acting was what he wanted to concentrate on. Because of his background and his father's lack of approval of his chosen career, Alex decided to avoid the traditional route into acting and instead worked from part to part. In 1973 he became one of the founder members of the 7:84 company, touring Scotland with The Cheviot, the Stag, and the Black Black Oil. In the 1970s he met his wife, Sally Kinghorn. They met on the set of a BBC Schools series. She and he have 3 sons, Jamie, Rory, and Jock. Also, he was presented with the opportunity to play a part in Peter Jackson's "King Kong" (2005); however, he could not accept because it happened to interfere with the TV project he was currently working on.
He has appeared in numerous films including Bill Forsyth's Gregory's Girl and Local Hero, Bill Douglas's epic film Comrades, Countdown to War, Little Voice, Orphans and Hollywood blockbusters such as Patriot Games with Harrison Ford, White Hunter, Black Heart, with Clint Eastwood, Braveheart starring Mel Gibson and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest with Johnny Depp. He played Captain Bellamy, a captain of a supposedly haunted ship; a rumour sparked the discovery of Elizabeth Swan's dress on board. Norton's character Bellamy picked up the character of William Turner who was lost at sea. This decision ultimately lead to his death by the Kraken. This role was suited to Norton to play because of his Scottish roots. He portrayed a perfectly believable, honest and logical Scottish Pirate. Norton also voiced Thurston McCondry in the animated shorts Haunted Hogmanay and Glendogie Bogey.
From August to September 2012 he played the role of Gerard Findlay in Waterloo Road, a headteacher from rival school Havelock High School.
In 2015, he voiced Gaunter O'Dim in Hearts of Stone, an expansion pack for the video game.
Awards and other work
Norton has also won two awards for writing. "Extras", an episode of First Sight for Channel 4 and Waiting for Elvis for STV. He also has an interest in directing. He directed the first production of Tony Roper's The Steamie, as well as directing Glasgow's King's Theatre's pantomimes for a five-year period.
He has also done voice over work on Medieval Total War II as the voice of some of the Scottish characters in the game, along with voicing Gaunter O'Dim in Hearts of Stone, an expansion pack for the video game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. He also appeared on The Weakest Link TV Drama Characters Edition. He was the first one voted off.
Norton also fronts the STV crime show Unsolved.