Clan MacKenzie originates from Kintail in the Highlands and the name derives from the Gaelic MacCoinneach meaning ‘Son of the Fair One’. The MacKenzies were one of the most powerful clans by the 17th Century, owning land from the east to the west, they even worked along side Mary Queen of Scots to support her in her reign. Now hundreds of years later there are MacKenzies all over the world and today we are finding out about some of the celebrities that don the name.
Julia MacKenzie is best known for her role as Mrs Marple in Agatha Christie’s Marple, however she featured in over 40 films and TV shows throughout her career, including Fresh Fields and the spin off show French Fields. She was born in 1941 in Enfield and now lives in Devon where she still acts and directs. She has been awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award twice, first in 1983 and again in 1994 and she was even nominated for a Tony Award in 1977 for best actress for her performance in ‘Side by Side by Sondheim’. More recently she was awarded a CBE by the Queen earlier this year for her services to drama.
George MacKenzie was born in 1888 and was a police officer before he began wrestling, he first competed in the Olympics when he was only 19 in 1908 and competed in the next five Olympics finishing with the 1928 games in Amsterdam. He was unsuccessful in winning a medal at all five game and his highest finish was fourth in the Men’s lightweight freestyle at his first Olympics. However, he was extremely successful in the British Championships, winning the lightweight competition in 1909, 1912, 1922, 1924, 1932 and 1941 and was also the featherweight champion in 1921, 1922 and 1924. His involvement with wrestling did not end once he finished competing, as he attended another four Olympics, coach of the British team in 1936, an organiser in 1948, head of the team in 1952 and as a part of the British Wrestling Association in 1956. He also carried the British flag at the Melbourne Olympics Opening Ceremony.
Will MacKenzie is a professional golfer from North Carolina, he turned professional in 2000 and joined the PGA Tour in 2005. He started of his career in the PGA Tour amazingly by winning the Reno-Tahoe Open in 2006 and the Viking Classic in 2008. He has not won a PGA Tour Open since, but he did finish second at the Vahero Texas Open in 2014, placing him at 84 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Before he started his golfing career, he travelled all around America taking part in outdoor adventure sports including surfing, snowboarding, kayaking and rock climbing.
Alexander MacKenzie was the second prime minister of Canada and the first member of the Liberal party to be elected. While in Government he established the Supreme Court of Canada and the Royal Military College of Canada, while also creating the District of Keewatin. He was born in Perthshire and immigrated to Canada when he was only 20, starting up a masonry business which was extremely successful meaning he could focus on his interest in Politics. It was in 1867 when he joined the Canadian House of commons as part of the Liberal Party, he was elected party leader in 1873 and later the same year he took over as Prime Minister.
James MacKenzie was born in Dundee in 1979, he studied acting at College to follow in the footsteps of his dad who was also an actor. He is best known for his TV Series on CBBC, Raven which first started in 2002, the show took a break for a few years and returned again last year with a new younger Raven, with James co-starring as the older Raven. The children’s game show was about a shape-shifting immortal warrior guiding six young warriors through a series of challenges testing their strength and intelligence. He has also featured in Taggart, River City and Rebus, while also performing in the stage versions of MacBeth and Sunshine on Leith.
If you know of any more famous MacKenzies, or you are one yourself, we’d love to hear from you!