Stanley Baxter

1926 -

Comedian, impressionist and actor. Born in Glasgow, the son of an insurance manager, Baxter was schooled for the stage by his mother. He began entertaining the troops while undertaking his National Service, working alongside the likes of comedy actor Kenneth Williams and film director John Schlesinger. Baxter returned to Glasgow taking to the stage in the Citizen's Theatre, before moving to London to work in television (1959). He made several television comedy series in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, which were enjoyed by enormous audiences and memorable for the quality of their production. Baxter was an uncompromising professional. He played all the parts, both male and female and his faultless impressions included portrayals of Queen Elizabeth II and the Pope, both considered controversial at the time. The cost of these spectacular programmes in terms of sets, effects and extras resulted in Baxter's regular sacking in turn by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and London Weekend Television (LWT). However, he remained a great favourite on the Scottish pantomime circuit up until his retirement in 1990, starring with Jimmy Logan and Una Maclean. He returned with a series of radio performances in Stanley Baxter and Friends and The Stanley Baxter Playhouse, which continued until 2016, when Baxter was in his 90th year.

Baxter has also appeared in films, including Geordie (1955), Very Important Person (1961), The Fast lady (1962) and Father Came Too! (1963), the last three alongside James Robertson Justice (1905-75), together with the animation Arabian Knight (1995). His characterful voice was also greatly in demand for television commercials.

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