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Wylie Watson


Wylie Watson (1889?–1966) was a British character actor.

Born John Wylie Robertson in Lanarkshire, Scotland, among his best known roles were those of "Mr Memory" — a music hall act who commits "50 new facts to his memory every day" — in Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps (1939), and the storekeeper in the Ealing comedy Whisky Galore! (1949).

He emigrated to Australia in the 1950s, where he later died.


With Hitchcock...

Film Frames

Selection of film frames: Wylie Watson (click image to view larger version or refresh thumbnails)...

Image Gallery

Images from the Hitchcock Gallery (click to view larger versions or search for all relevant images)...


  • born 06/Feb/1889 in Lanarkshire, Scotland (according to IMDB)[1]
  • married 1918 to Ada M. Shaw (b. ~1892)[2]
  • likely sailed to Melbourne, Australia, aboard the Maloja, which departed London on 11/Mar/1927[3]
  • sailed to Sydney, Australia, with his wife (Ada M. Robertson) aboard the Melbourne Star, which departed London on 25/Aug/1950[4]
  • died 03/May/1966 in Australia (according to IMDB)[5]

Research Notes

  • Confusingly, the 1966 Australian death record of John Wylie Franc Robertson aged 80 is very likely to be that of the John Wylie F. Robertson born 1866 in West Derby, Lancashire (i.e. not born in Scotland!). The names of the parents given in the death registration match those of musician John W. Robertson (b. ~1862) and Ada/Adeline E. Robertson (b. ~1863), who were living on Everton Brow, Everton, West Derby, Lancashire, at the time of the 1891 Census. No Census records were found to link a Lanarkshire-born John Robertson to parents John and Ada. Therefore, if Wylie Watson did indeed die in Australia in 1966, then it seems almost certain he wasn't born in Scotland in 1889.


Notes & References

  1. No birth registration found for a John Robertson in Lanarkshire in 1889. Also, death record implies a birth around 1886.
  2. Marriage of John W. Robertson to Ada M. Shaw, registered Q1 1918 Poplar, London.
  3. John F. Wylie Robertson aged 38, occupation given as "actor". Home address was 23 Kings Road, Teddington, Middlesex.
  4. John W. Robertson aged 62, occupation given as "film actor". Home address was 49 Kenley Road, Kingston Hill, Surrey.
  5. According to IMDB.