Scottish acting and comedy legend Johnny Beattie has died at the age of 93

By Catriona Stewart  @LadyCatHT Columnist/reporter in The Glasgow Times

FM Sturgeon pays tribute to “national treasure as Scottish acting and comedy legend Johnny Beattie dies at the age of 93.

Johnny Beattie set to retire at the age of 88 | UK | News ...
The actor Johnny Beattie with cast members of River City in Dumbarton.

THE much-loved Scottish actor and comedian Johnny Beattie has died at the age of 93.

A veteran theatre star, Johnny most recently played Shieldinch’s favourite pensioner Malcolm Henderson on River City, joining at the launch of the BBC soap in 2002, spending 13 years with the programme which was made in Dumbarton.

He is believed to have passed away peacefully after a short spell at St Margaret’s Hospice in Clydebank.

Tributes have been paid by the Pavillion Theatre, which said he was a “great friend” of the Glasgow venue.

In a tweet, Iain Gordon from the theatre wrote: “We have just received the very sad news that Johnny Beattie has passed away.

“Johnny was a great friend to the theatre and must have been one of the few last remaining performers from magical days of variety theatre.

Glasgow Times:
Johnny Beattie was an annual audience puller in Christmas pantomimes.

“He was a great man to sit and talk to about the legends of Scottish Theatre and there cannot be a theatre in Scotland that Johnny did not perform and star in.

“He was one of these performers that just went on stage and gave the audience what they wanted, a funny man and Scottish legend.

“As he always said: ‘Happy for Tabs!’ 

“Rest in peace Johnny, make them laugh! It was great to work with you and even better to know you.”

A giant of the Scottish comedy scene, Johnny got into showbiz through amateur dramatics, having started his career in the Govan shipyards.

He was a stand-up comic, panto dame and TV quiz show host as well as starring in 1990 movie The Big Man with Liam Neeson. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also paid tribute, tweeting: “So sad to hear that Johnny Beattie has died.

“He was a hugely talented performer and a truly lovely man.

“I met him at the Govan Fair a few years ago – he had us in stitches.

“Today, we’ve lost a national treasure, and my thoughts are with his loved ones.”

Donalda MacKinnon, director of BBC Scotland, said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of comedy and acting legend Johnny Beattie.

“He featured in many much loved programmes on the BBC and most recently delighted audiences for 13 years as the kind-hearted and loveable family man Malcolm Hamilton in River City.

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

“Johnny Beattie dedicated his life to the entertainment of others and we thank him for the joy and laughter he brought to audiences across his long and varied career.”

Leave a Reply