I moved to the US in 1978 and in 1982 I appeared opposite the beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer in ‘Grease 2’. I wonder how many of you will remember that? The movie bombed but then in 1985 I joined ‘The Colbys’ tv series, as bad boy, Miles Colby. Remember him? But despite playing all these Americans, I am British. I was born in Glasgow so the cliché about Americans coming here to find their roots in Scottish ancestry, to discover if they have the right to wear a kilt, doesn’t really apply to me. Actually, I do have that right.
There is Scottish blood on my mother’s side – two lines, in fact, which connects us to the Ogilvy clan, but I can also wear the Rose tartan as well, because my families are Rose Innes and Findlaters. I would have been Earl of Findlater, had my forebearers not been run out of their castle. I have been wanting to come back to Scotland for a long time to renew childhood memories but the principal reason for this trip was that my wife, Juliet, and I were visiting our daughter, Melissa, who was appearing at the Edinburgh Festival. So we came to support her. It gave us a duel reason to come to Scotland, a country we both had strong feelings about but which we hadn’t seen since our childhood. Juliet, my wife, is the daughter of that marvellous actor, Sir John Mills, now sadly passed, and she has her own special childhood memories of Scotland. It was a long overdue visit and frankly we were stunned and amazed at how beautiful and how unspoilt the country is.
As a child, I had come many times to this particular region of the Inner Hebrides. I’d gone to the lsle of Arran. I think even as a kid I sensed the romantic beauty of the place. I loved it. One of the highlights of my youth was to go up there with my brother and stay with my aunt and uncle and our cousins who were the same age. It was perfect. We’d do mackerel fishing off the back of Uncle Tom’s boat, and we would go ‘beating the heather’ ahead of the shoot. Not that I am a big hunting type. Matter of fact, I am rather against it. But these are wonderful memories.
This time Juliet and I started our trip at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo – which again I’d been privileged to go to as a kid and it was even more thrilling than I remembered. We were lucky enough to be seated with Sir Jackie Stewart, the racing legend. It was a charmed night. I had been lent a kilt and costume for the night from an organisation 21st century Kilts and they gave me the kilt from Glasgow University, which I was not remotely entitled to wear but it looked real sharp.
My wife and daughter totally loved it so we are thinking of making it our Christmas card this year. Funny enough, a couple of years ago I did an episode of ‘Casualty’ and I got to wear the Hunting version of the Ogilvy kilt. The BBC had researched my background and gone to the trouble to find my own tartan. That was fun. In fact, I really got a taste for wearing the whole regalia so on my next trip to Scotland, I am looking forward to getting fitted out properly.
The complete interview appeared in ‘In Britain’ magazine
© All Stories and Content
Copyright of Bruna Zanelli - all rights Reserved. Redistribution without
prior consent is punishable by law.