Biography

Norman Beaton was a popular and much loved Guyanese born British actor. He arrived in the UK in 1960 and worked as a calypso singer and musician and a teacher - being the first black teacher employed by the education authority in Liverpool. His heart set on a career in showbusiness, he moved to Bristol and became a presenter on the regional news magazine Points West, before a two week prison sentence curtailed his presenting career. He subsequently found work in London's West End, appearing in The Tempest as Ariel, a role he subsequently cited as the most important in his career. He helped set up the Black Theatre in Brixton in the mid 70s and broke into television with the first black British sitcom, The Fosters in 1976, playing Lenny Henry's father. A star turn in the movie Black Joy followed a year later, as did the principal role in the fledgling black soap Empire Road for the BBC. But it is perhaps his performance as Desmond Ambrose, the crotchety Peckham barber in Channel 4's hit sitcom Desmond's that Beaton will forever be remembered for. The series ran from 1988 until his ill health curtailed the show in 1994. He retired to Georgetown, the place of his birth, but collapsed and died of a heart attack at the airport on arrival, on 13th December 1994. He was 60 years old.

Norman Beaton was a popular and much loved Guyanese born British actor. He arrived in the UK in 1960 and worked as a calypso singer and musician and a teacher - being the first black teacher employed by the education authority in Liverpool. His heart set on a career in showbusiness, he moved to Bristol and became a presenter on the regional news magazine Points West, before a two week prison sentence curtailed his presenting career. He subsequently found work in London's West End, appearing in The Tempest as Ariel, a role he subsequently cited as the most important in his career. He helped set up the Black Theatre in Brixton in the mid 70s and broke into television with the first black British sitcom, The Fosters in 1976, playing Lenny Henry's father. A star turn in the movie Black Joy followed a year later, as did the principal role in the fledgling black soap Empire Road for the BBC. But it is perhaps his performance as Desmond Ambrose, the crotchety Peckham barber in Channel 4's hit sitcom Desmond's that Beaton will forever be remembered for. The series ran from 1988 until his ill health curtailed the show in 1994. He retired to Georgetown, the place of his birth, but collapsed and died of a heart attack at the airport on arrival, on 13th December 1994. He was 60 years old.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 20

Birthday 1934-10-31

Day of Death 1994-12-13

Place of Birth Georgetown, Guyana

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1994 Little Napoleons (4 episodes) as N.K. Edwards
1992 Black and White in Colour as Himself
1990 When Love Dies as Pastor
1989 The Mighty Quinn as Governor Chalk
1989 Desmond's (71 episodes)
1989 Endgame as Hamm
1987 Big George is Dead as Boogie
1987 Playing Away as Willie Boy
1984 Nice
1984 The Cosby Show (1 episode)
1983 Eureka as Byron Judson
1982 Easy Money as Trevor
1980 Hammer House of Horror (1 episode)
1979 Minder (1 episode)
1978 Empire Road (16 episodes)
1977 Black Christmas as Bertie
1977 Black Joy as Dave King
1976 Pressure as Preacher
1972 Sykes (1 episode)
1971 Barlow (1 episode)

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