Mostly Credited As: Robert Beatty
Date Of Birth: October 19, 1909 (Age 82)
Country Of Birth: Canada
Birth Place: Hamilton, Ontario
Date Of Death: March 03, 1992
Cause Of Death: Natural Causes (London, England)
In the immediate post-war years Robert Beatty 's Canadian accent and his craggy good looks were eminently marketable features and for a time he was one of Britain's most familiar actors in films, television, radio and the theater. In the 1950s, before the acting profession became quite the global village it is today, he was much in demand in Britain for his ability to portray Americans. Indeed in addition to transatlantic roles, his dark-brown voice enabled him to tackle Scottish, Irish and colonial parts with ease. He also exuded considerable charm and his tough but gentle features would crinkle up into what was once described as "an audible smile." Although he probably failed to realized his full potential and never quite managed to translate these attributes into mega-stardom he had a worthy career. He made his greatest impact as Detective Inspector Don Maguire, a Canadian Mountie attached to Scotland Yard in a short-lived television series. Dial 999, and capped this, unexpectedly at the age 78, by a masterly portrayal of Ronald Reagan, capturing precisely the mannerisms and gestures of the American president in a television "docu-drama" Breakthrough at Reykjavik. Having failed to pass an Army medical, Beatty joined the BBC as a newsreader for transmissions to North America and appeared in various wartime stage productions including The Petrified Forest at the Globe Theater. In the 1950s he was at his busiest. His films included Captain Horatio Hornblower RN. The Square Ring. Albert RN, The Gentle Gunman, Tarzan and the Lost Safari and Something of Value. In addition to film and stage roles, he played Philip 0'Dell, an Irish Private investigator, in a long-running BBC radio series and appeared as "the man with the mike" interviewing people out and about in London" for the television series Saturday Night Out. In 1957-58 came his television series Dial 999. In spite of its success it ran only nine months and he was to claim later that it "killed him for ten years"as far as other television work was concerned. "As far as producers were concerned I was Maguire of the Mounties and that was that." Robert Beatty, actor, died in London on March 3 aged 82.