Stanley Baxter – a talent for laughter


Comedian, impressionist, mimic and dancer Stanley Baxter, one of Scotland’s great talents, is still sparkling at 93. He’s been reprised in a TV collage for Christmas with segments from his best-known shows which in their day would get audiences of an unheard of (nowadays) 22 million. They featured pastiches of the musicals he had loved from boyhood and spoofs of Hollywood classics such as Gone with the Wind (Rhett Butler: “I’m going to tear off that fancy dress and smother you with custard, sponge and sherry.” Scarlett O’Hara: “No, I won’t be trifled with.”)

He was born 24 May 1926 2.15am Glasgow, the same year as the Queen (and David Attenborough) so blessed with their longevity. Though according to his biographer his impersonation of HMQ pushed the boundaries a touch and provoked letters from brigadiers in Surrey threatening to have him horsewhipped.

He has a chatty, sharp-witted 3rd house Gemini Sun and an exuberant Jupiter in Aquarius on his Ascendant opposition Neptune square Saturn opposition Mercury – so a Fixed and enduring Grand Cross. He also has a talented and healing Water Grand Trine of North Node Pluto in Cancer trine Saturn in conscientious Scorpio trine Mars in Pisces; and a Cardinal T Square of a Libra Moon opposition Venus square Pluto in the performing 5th. For all his bubbly persona on stage and on television he was a private man and very emotional.

He started as a child actor, performed during his national service and later in the Citizens’ Theatre, and for many Glaswegians for years he was the face of Christmas pantomimes, sparking off Scots comedian Jimmy Logan, 4 April 1929 12.10am Glasgow.

They were a good fit since Jimmy Logan’s enthusiastic Sun Jupiter in Aries was resonated with Stanley’s Venus and Moon; and Jimmy’s Mars in Aquarius was conjunct Stanley’s Jupiter for a boisterous chemistry.

4 thoughts on “Stanley Baxter – a talent for laughter

  1. I watched him as a kid because my parents were big fans – he was amazing! His shows were lavish. I think there is something about natal Mercury/Neptune contacts and the 3rd house which often manifests as a natural talent for mimicry. I have the conjunction in the 3rd and was rather good at imitating anyone in authority at my school, particularly the nuns who seemed utterly ridiculous and comical to my 14 year old self.

  2. I was in my mid twenties when I saw one of his one off replay shows in the late 90s and loved his humour. I still remember him dressed up like Betty Grable in full bathing suit bombshell regalia, posing as he looked over his shoulder and grinning, as he came down a large syringe on a descending floor. Above him it said, ‘Miss Penny Cillin!’ It’s tickled me all these years.

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