Hay Petrie
Hay Petrie in The Red Shoes (1948)
Born16 July 1895
Died30 July 1948 (aged 53)
Fulham, England, United Kingdom
Years active1930–1948 (film)

David Hay Petrie (16 July 1895 – 30 July 1948) was a Scottish actor noted for playing eccentric characters, among them Quilp in The Old Curiosity Shop (1934), the McLaggen in The Ghost Goes West (1935) and Uncle Pumblechook in Great Expectations (1946).[1]

Hay Petrie was born in Dundee, Angus, Scotland, where he went to Harris Academy.[2] He later attended St Andrew's University, where he first discovered the stage. In 1915, he joined the Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) as a second lieutenant.

After the war, he studied with Rosina Filippi joining the Old Vic Company appearing as "Starveling" in A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1920. In 1924 Albert de Courville brought Hay Petrie into vaudeville with The Looking Glass, in which he sang "Oh Shakespeare you're the best of all but you can't fill the fourteen shilling stall". His first film part was Many Waters in 1931.

Hay Petrie struggled with alcoholism, but was much loved by audiences and players. He was never more at home than when he was playing parts from the classical theatre, and for many he was the Shakespearean Clown of the early 1920s.

He died in London in July 1948, aged 53.[3]



  1. ^ McFarlane, Brian (28 February 2014). The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth edition. Oxford University Press. p. 595; ISBN 9781526111968
  2. ^ "D Hay Petrie". Harris Academy Former Pupils Association. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Hay Petrie". BFI. Retrieved 21 July 2021.