WHEN he announced his retirement from showbiz, it was in typical Johnny Beattie fashion.

“You see, now that I’m 88, I’m nearly as old as my gags,” he said, with a characteristic twinkle in his eye.

Johnny Beattie – actor, comedian, game show host, panto star, all-round showbiz giant – died last week, so here at Times Past we thought it would be a fitting tribute to dedicate this week’s Famous Faces in Glasgow feature to our very own legend.

For who is more famous to generations of Glaswegian theatre-goers and telly-watchers than Johnny Beattie?

Glasgow Times:

Born in Govan in 1926, the actor and comedian was a lynchpin of the Scottish comedy scene, alongside fellow greats Rikki Fulton, Jack Milroy and Stanley Baxter. He was known and loved at home and abroad – even once playing New York and Cowdenbeath in the same week.

His career began in the early 1950s, when he moved on from an apprenticeship on the Clydeside shipyards for stand-up and work in film, TV, radio and theatre.

Glasgow Times:

Johnny was one of the best-known summer season performers at Rothesay Winter Gardens and appeared regularly at Ayr Gaiety Theatre in the 1950s and 1960s, earning the prestigious title of honorary president of the Scottish Music Hall Society.

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Johnny Beattie’s Saturday Night Show ran on BBC1 in the 1960s and in 1974, he moved to STV to take part in A Grand Tour with Fulton, Milroy, Billy Connolly, Mark McManus and Stanley Baxter.

Glasgow Times:

He returned to the BBC to appear with Fulton in Scotch and Wry and appeared alongside Gregor Fisher in Rab C Nesbitt as the eponymous anti-hero’s dad. He also played alongside Connolly and Liam Neeson in The Big Man.

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Johnny was married to model and theatrical agent Kitty Lamont for 33 years and though they separated they were on the point of reconciling when she died in 1994.

Glasgow Times:

Awarded an MBE in the 2007 New Year’s Honours List for services to entertainment, Johnny’s impressive showbusiness career included variety performances, TV quiz show Now You See It, panto dames and latterly, a spell on BBC drama series River City.

He was one of the show’s original cast members in 2002, playing lovable pensioner Malcolm, and he filmed his last scenes in 2015 before retiring from showbusiness for good.

Glasgow Times:

Our archives have captured Johnny on film many times over the decades – enjoying a pint outside Montego Bay pub in Jamaica Street during his run as Sinbad at the King’s in 1985; with Walter Carr and Jimmy Logan outside the Pavilion; with Kitty, daughter Maureen and sons Paul and Mark at the Kelvin Hall Carnival in 1963; with Lorraine Kelly, larking about at the Modern Homes Exhibition in 1992, and with Jack Milroy, launching the autumn fashion range at Oxfam in the West End. Here, while presenting Milroy modelling some of the clothes, Johnny was memorably heard to announce: “Here, does anyone want to buy a dummy?”

Glasgow Times:

His friend, the late Jimmy Logan, wrote in his 1998 memoirs that Johnny “is a man of the theatre who has paid his dues, and knows the history of the theatre because he has been in it so long. He is one of the backbones in this country of the summer shows and pantomimes, and a real pro.”

Did you see Johnny Beattie on stage? Have you ever met him? What are your favourite memories of the man? Email your pictures and stories to ann.fotheringham@glasgowtimes.co.uk or write to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, c/o The Print Centre, 125 Fullarton Drive, Cambuslang, Glasgow G32 8FG.