The­atre icon passes away

Evening Times - - NEWS -

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

A vet­eran the­atre star, Johnny, pic­tured, 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.

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

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

In a tweet, man­ager Iain Gordon 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.

“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.

“To­day, we’ve lost a na­tional trea­sure.

“My thoughts are with his loved ones.”

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