David Bailie

Last updated 12 October 2015

David Bailie
(this image appears for illustrative purposes only and no attempt is made to supersede any copyright attributed to it)

David Bailie

Born: 1937 (age: 86)


David Bailie played Dask in the Doctor Who story The Robots of Death and later played the Celestial Toymaker in the Big Finish Productions' audios.

He was born in South Africa, going to boarding school in Swaziland and emigrating to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) with his family in 1952.

His first acting experience soon after school in 1955, was an amateur production of 'Doctor in the House' which persuaded him he wanted to be an actor. After leaving school he worked in a bank and then for Central African Airlines. In 1958, he made his first trip from Rhodesia to England to get a lie of the land.

In 1960 he moved to England and landed his first small role in the film Flame in the Streets (1960) and then played on of the bells boys in Arthur Koppits "Oh Dad Poor Dad Mama's hung you in the Closet and I'm feeling so Sad" (1961) with Stella Adler playing Madame Rosepettle.

He was accepted by Laurence Olivier joining the National Theatre. He played minor roles and also understudied Sir Laurence Olivier in Love for Love.

Terry Hands invited Bailie to join them as an associate artist (1965). There he portrayed i.a. Florizel opposite Dame Judi Dench's Perdita in 'A Winter's Tale' along with Valentine in Two Gentlemen of Verona, the Bastard in King John, Kozanka in The Plebeians Rehearse the Uprising and Leslie in The Madness of Lady Bright.

During the early 1970s he worked with Stomu Yamashta at his Red Buddha Theatre. He was cast as the lead in a show called 'Raindog', requiring him to do everything from singing (writing his own songs) and dancing, to performing Martial Arts and gymnastics - which he frankly admits was a demand too far and when Yamashta offered him a paltry sum for performing the opportunity was there to depart which he did.

Between 1980 and 1989 he ran a furniture-making business. In 1990 he closed that down and returned to acting, having in fact to virtually restart his career. It didn't help that at exactly this point he had to have a cancer removed from his lip which required learning to speak again.

In the mid 1990s after playing alongside Brian Glover in Canterbury Tales he made a comeback in the movie business as 'Skewer' in Cutthroat Island (1995), then played an English Judge in The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999), and also the engineer in Gladiator (2000).

Bailie's best known work in film is the role of Cotton, a speechless pirate who has his tongue cut out, so he miraculously trained his parrot, also named Cotton, to read his mind and speak on his behalf. Bailie first appears as Cotton in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) as one of the pirates Jack Sparrow chooses in Tortuga. He is one of the Black Pearl crew-members to survive the Kracken attack in the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006). Bailie is also plays Cotton in the third installment of 'Pirates' Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End (2007).

David Bailie also emerged as a radio actor. He played the mad scientist Taren Capel, a re-incarnation of his earlier work from the 60s cult series 'Doctor Who'. He has recently been involved in two audio DVDs playing the memorable character of the 'Celestial Toymaker' from Dr Who.

He now also works as a Professional Photographer! Portraiture and Landscapes being his speciality. He travels nowhere unless his destination offers good Photo opportunities.