Johnny Beattie

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Johnny Beattie
Johnny Beattie.jpg
Johnny Beattie performing at a charity Ceilidh in Glasgow in 2009.
Born (1926-11-09) 9 November 1926 (age 90)
Govan, Glasgow, Scotland
Occupation Actor, comedian
Years active 1956-2016 (retirement)
Spouse(s) Kitty Lamont (m. 1950–82)

Johnny Beattie MBE, (born 9 November 1926) is a Scottish actor and stand-up comedian whose career has spanned over five decades. He became known in the 1960s for Johnny Beattie's Saturday Night Show, which ran from 1964-1970.[citation needed] He appeared on other shows including the sketch show Scotch & Wry and the sitcom Rab C. Nesbitt, and more recently moved into playing more dramatic roles, most notable that of Malcolm Hamilton in the soap opera River City.

Early life and career[edit]

Beattie was born in Govan, Glasgow on 9 November 1926 into a working class family. He grew up in Govan alongside his older brother Frank and younger sisters Mary and Cathie. He also attended school there. Beattie left school at sixteen to start an apprenticeship and became involved with amateur dramatics,[1] and by the mid-1950s he had become a stand-up comedian.

Beattie starred in his own sketch show Johnny Beattie's Saturday Night Show, which featured him playing many different colourful characters, including his alter ego "Glaikit O'Toole". The show ran on BBC One from January 1964 to February 1970, and received high critical acclaim from television critics. Beattie would often thereafter appear as Glaikit O'Toole in other sketches, including at New Year.[citation needed]

In 1974, Beattie took part in STV's four-part series A Grand Tour, along with others such as Rikki Fulton, Jack Milroy, Billy Connolly, Mark McManus and Stanley Baxter, in which the six performers went on a grand tour of Scotland and took part in useless tasks. Beattie recalls his most renowned moment on the show as when he was made to "Take a long drop off a short pier", in which each of the participants had to compete.

Beattie went on to appear on Rikki Fulton's sketch show Scotch & Wry, at one point appearing as his alter ego Glaikit O'Toole, who encounters Fulton's character Supercop in one of the sketches. While on the set of Scotch & Wry, Beattie also encountered actor Gregor Fisher. Beattie later went on to co-star alongside Fisher in the 1990s sitcom Rab C. Nesbitt, in which Fisher played the title character and Beattie made infrequent appearances as Nesbitt's father Baz. In 1990, Beattie starred in The Big Man alongside Billy Connolly and Liam Neeson.[2] Beattie has also appeared in popular Scottish television shows including Taggart, and he was also the original host of the Scottish Television gameshow Now You See It for three years between 1981 and 1984.[3] Beattie also had a couple of local hit records with "Scotch on the Rocks" and "The Glasgow Rap".

He was cast as Malcolm Hamilton in the Scottish soap opera River City, a role which he had retained since the show began in 2002.[4] He filmed his last scenes for the show in April 2015 having announced his retirement after more than 60 years.[5] He is the Honorary President of the "Scottish Music Hall Society", having been made so in 2005.

Personal life[edit]

Johnny Beattie

Beattie married Kitty Lamont in 1950. They had two daughters, Maureen and Louise,[6] who are both actresses, and two sons Paul and Mark. Beattie and Lamont separated in 1982, and she died in 1994. On 9 November 2006, Beattie celebrated his 80th birthday in Glasgow.[7]


Beattie was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in Queen Elizabeth II's 2007 New Year Honours list. He received the 1981 Benno Schotz award as T.V. Personality of the Year.[8] He also received the Lord Provost's Performing Arts Award in 1993.[9]


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  3. ^ "Johnny Beattie". TheGlasgowStory. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
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  6. ^ "Foot Stompin' Celtic Music | URL Has Changed". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  7. ^ "Johnny Beattie 80th Celebration (22)". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  8. ^ Johnny Beattie. "Johnny Beattie, Book Scottish Speaker Johnny Beattie". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  9. ^ "Johnny Beattie". TheGlasgowStory. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 

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