James Robertson Justice –

I have never seen the picture below before and just wonder when and where it was taken.  Walt Disney came to oversee the production of The Sword and the Rose  in the UK from June to September 1952, and I have a feeling it was during this time. He had, as we know, been here in the summer of 1951  to supervise the production of The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men.

In the picture below however I reckon that James Roberston Justice looks quite a bit heavier than he had on the Robin Hood film as Little John.

James Robertson Justice with Walt Disney

James Robertson Justice may not have considered his past very exciting and instead enjoyed embellishing the truth by weaving stories to his friends about how he was a Scotsman by birth and was born under a whiskey distillery in the Isle of Skye. 

He began his career in films inauspiciously with a number of minor roles for Ealing Studios, one of which was Vice Versa ( 1948 ) directed by a young Peter Ustinov. Robertson Justice was perfectly cast as the gruff headmaster Dr. Grimstone.

In 1952, Walt Disney cast James as the burly Little John in The Story of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. 

Justice was an excellent supporting member to the leading actor, Richard Todd, and the following year they were teamed up again in The Sword and the Rose. This time Justice portrayed King Henry VIII. In their final teaming – Rob Roy : The Highland Rogue – James donned the kilt and grew his hair long for his role as the Duke of Argyll, a proud Scotsman acting as a mediator between the British army and the hostile MacGregor clan led by Rob Roy ( Todd ). 

I always think that he had the worst Scottish Accent imaginable in Rob Roy The Highland Rogue


He married nurse Dillys Hayden in 1941, but only a few years afterward his roving eye fell on the beautiful Molly Parkin.

She became one of his many mistresses in the coming years. When James and Dillys’ only son, James Jr., drowned in 1949, at the age of four, their marriage fell apart and, although they remained married for nineteen more years, they were living separately. Justice used the payment he received for his role as Lancelot Spratt and purchased a cottage in Spinningdale, Scotland, where he lived for more than two decades.

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