Truth or Preposterous fantasy or maybe all true – James Robertson Justice

 

Whatever do we make of James Robertson Justice. Was he for real ?

 

The claims he made about his country of birth- which was not the case – and many of the stories in his youth which seem to be almost too preposterous for words. Did he live in this fantasy world all his life or was that just to get him the fame he eventually was successful with – I just don’t know.

He did have a very good career in films and a long one at that.

James Robertson Justice

 

He was a perfect ‘Little John’. He remains a fascinating character in some ways and maybe those characters are needed – even if they embellish their stories a bit too much.

 

I suppose there is just the chance that some of these stories are true of course.

James Robertson Justice

ABOVE:  Here he is in ‘The Sword and the Rose’ another Walt Disney picture – playing Henry VIII – and looking very much the part.

James Norval Harald Robertson Justice – he added ‘Robertson’ himself, in an effort to appear more Scottish  was born in London although his father was originally from Aberdeen.

He claimed to be able to  speak as many as 20 languages.

He unsuccessfully contested the North Angus Constituency for the Labour Party in the 1950 election

 

Before acting, he had a supposedly varied career which included being a journalist for the Reuters along with James Bond creator, Sir Ian Fleming; teaching in Canada; playing professional ice hockey for the London Lions; racing motor cars at Brooklands; and finally, upholding the law as a policeman for the League of Nations in German, when the Nazis came to power.

He was good friends with the Duke of Edinburgh

Tragically his only son died in a drowning accident in 1949, aged just four

He apparently had  countless affairs during his first marriage. His second marriage took place just three days before he died.

He adored Scotland and claimed to have been born there.

He died penniless in London, – a long period of ill health had led to him being  forced to sell his beloved Scottish home. His final resting place was in Scotland close to his home below.

James Robertson Justice 2

Postcard showing the Dornoch Firth at Spinningdale, including the old mill and James Robertson Justice’s former home.

Maybe I have been unkind to him here – he was ‘larger than life’ – and there is something about him that I admire but much I don’t. To have forged a good acting career starting at the late age of 37, and continued it for a great many years is some feat.

I will leave you with one thought I have just had – Wouldn’t he have been perfect, and very successful in the Harry Potter films – not sure of his role but he would seem to fit I think

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