Billy Boyd (actor)

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Billy Boyd
Billy Boyd.jpg
Boyd at Ring*Con 2005 in Fulda, Germany
BornBilly Boyd
(1968-08-28) 28 August 1968 (age 45)
Glasgow, Scotland
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1996–present
Spouse(s)Ali McKinnon
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Billy Boyd
Billy Boyd.jpg
Boyd at Ring*Con 2005 in Fulda, Germany
BornBilly Boyd
(1968-08-28) 28 August 1968 (age 45)
Glasgow, Scotland
OccupationActor, musician
Years active1996–present
Spouse(s)Ali McKinnon

Billy Boyd (born 28 August 1968) is a Scottish actor and musician most widely known for playing the characters Peregrin "Pippin" Took in the film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, Barret Bonden in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and Glen in Seed of Chucky.

Early life[edit]

Boyd was born in Glasgow, Scotland to William and Mary Boyd,[1] who died, a year apart, when Boyd was in his early teens.[2] He was brought up, along with his elder sister, Margaret, by their grandmother. In 1984, at the age of 16, he appeared in local musical company Theatre Guild, Glasgow's production of Hans Andersen. He worked as a book-binder for seven years before pursuing an acting career. One of the books he bound was The Lord of the Rings. He graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where he earned a diploma in Dramatic Arts.


As well as being a screen actor, he also appears on the stage. He has been in several plays; most recently, San Diego and The Ballad of Crazy Paola and currently touring in the musical, Sunshine on Leith. In June 2012 he appeared on stage as the voice of the guide in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy live radio show. He is also an accomplished musician, singing and also playing the guitar, bass and drums. He wrote the melody for and sang in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King a song called "The Edge of Night".[3]

He also starred as Glen, the son of Chucky (Brad Dourif) and Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly), in the Seed of Chucky in 2004.

He topped list of top 100 Most Eligible Men in Scotland in 2002. Currently, he is the lead singer and co-songwriter in the band Beecake.[4] He has also made a cameo appearance in the popular Scottish comedy Still Game in the second episode of the first series.

In 2011, his feature film, Glenn, the Flying Robot, was shown in the Dawn Breakers International Film Festival followed by a Netflix release.

He has recently performed at the Dundee Repertory Theatre as the role of Davie in Sunshine on Leith, as well as in Long Hong Jimmy, in which he was the lead actor.

In 2013, Boyd played Banquo in Shakespeare's Macbeth, at the Shakespeare's Globe alongside Joseph Millson and Samantha Spiro.

Personal life[edit]

Aside from his musical aspirations, Boyd is an avid surfer and spent his free time surfing in New Zealand during the production for Lord of the Rings.[2] He also holds a Grade 7 in foil fencing. He trained in martial arts at the Krauseworld Academy in Glasgow under brothers Steve Krause and Mike Krause where he achieved Phase 4 rank in both Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Kali.[5]

He owns a house in Glasgow with his wife, Alison McKinnon. They had their first child, Jack William Boyd,[6] on 26 April 2006, and he and McKinnon were married in a ceremony with 30 guests at Oran Mor in Glasgow's West End on 29 December 2010. The wedding was attended by castmates Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan. A reception was held after for about 130 guests.

Boyd has a tattoo of the Elvish word "nine" written with the Tengwar script, a reference to his involvement in the Lord of the Rings and the fact that his character was one of the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring. The other actors of "The Fellowship" (Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Sean Bean, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen and Orlando Bloom) got the same tattoo with the exception of John Rhys-Davies whose stunt double got the tattoo instead.[7]

He remains close with Lord of the Rings co-star Dominic Monaghan, and they are writing a script together but at the moment there are no plans for it to be made. Dominic revealed in an interview for the national breakfast television show GMTV that he continues to see Billy on a regular basis, as he is 'essentially, kind of, godfather to his kids'.

Boyd is one of the patrons of Scottish Youth Theatre, Scotland's National Theatre 'for and by' young people.

Boyd is also the Patron of the National Boys' Choir of Scotland.

Holidays in Scotland[edit]

In 2008, Boyd fronted VisitScotland's Perfect Day Campaign, and talked particularly of his love of surfing in Scotland, particularly in Machrihanish near the town of Campbeltown in Kintyre in the west coast of Scotland and Pease Bay and Coldingham Bay on Scotland's East coast. In an interview about the campaign with The Scotsman on 28 July, he said "I don't really do much promotional stuff but felt that with this one I could be honest...I'm very proud of where I come from and I get very excited if a friend comes over and I can show them around."[8]


Boyd fronts a band called Beecake.[9][10] As well as topping some of the international MySpace charts, the band was recently awarded VisitScotland's award for Best Live Act at the Tartan Clef Music Awards. The award was created by VisitScotland to celebrate Scotland's live music scene and Glasgow's new title of UNESCO City of Music. The Tartan Clef Music Awards raise money for Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy in Scotland – a charity which uses music to bring joy into the lives of children and adults who have been isolated by disability, trauma or illness.[11]

Beecake has recently released their new album Soul Swimming. The band was named after Boyd's Lord of the Rings co-star Dominic Monaghan sent a picture of a cake covered in bees. Other members of the band include John Crawford, Billy Johnston, and Rick Martin.[12]

Beecake released the EP 'Please Stay' on 4 June 2012. The music video for the song 'Please Stay' from the EP was released to coincide with the EP on the 4th also. The music video was directed by Michael Ferns, a graduate from the RSAMD where Billy himself graduated.[13] The group relaeased the album Blue Sky Paradise in December 2012.[14]

Billy Boyd also made a guest appearance on Viggo Mortensen's 2003 album Pandemoniumfromamerica, where he played the bass on two songs, as well as drums on another.


YearFilmRoleOther notes
1998The Soldier's LeapPostmanShort film
Urban Ghost StoryLoan Shark
1999Julie and the CadillacsJimmy Campbell
2001The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingPeregrin 'Pippin' Took
2002The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersPeregrin 'Pippin' Took
2003Master and Commander: The Far Side of the WorldBarret Bonden
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingPeregrin 'Pippin' Took
2004Seed of ChuckyGlen/Glenda RayVoice role
2005On a Clear DayDanny
Stories of Lost SoulsThe GunnerSegment: Sniper 470
Midsummer DreamPuckVoice role
2006The Flying ScotsmanMalky
2007Save Angel HopeVince SandhurstTV movie
2008Stone of DestinyBill Craig
2009Jusqu'à toiRufus
Glenn, the Flying RobotJack
2011Irvine Welsh's EcstasyWoodsy
2012The ForgerBernie
Dorothy and the Witches of OzNick Chopper
Space MilkshakeAnton
1996TaggartJamie HolmesEpisode: Dead Man's Chest
1999Coming SoonRossMiniseries
2002Still GameBearded ManEpisode: Faimly
2004Instant CreditFrankieShort TV-film
2008EmptyTony6 episodes
2011Moby DickElijah
2012CasualtyDuncan Jessup1 Episode
Video games
2003The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the KingPeregrin 'Pippin' Took
2006The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-kingPeregrin 'Pippin' Took
2013Lego The Lord of the Rings (video game)Peregrin 'Pippin' Took

Awards and nominations[edit]

Broadcast Film Critics Association Award

DVD Exclusive Awards

Empire Awards

National Board of Review of Motion Pictures

Online Film Critics Society

Phoenix Film Critics Society

Screen Actors Guild Awards


  1. ^ Billy Boyd Biography (1968–)
  2. ^ a b Spencer, Liese (14 August 2005). "Boyd Up". Retrieved 4 June 2007. 
  3. ^ Source: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Complete Recordings [1]
  4. ^ BEECAKE | Gratis muziek, tourneedata, foto's, video's
  5. ^ Tartan TV biography on Billy Boyd
  6. ^ "Billy Boyd Has New Baby Named Jack William". Starpulse News Blog. 29 April 2006. Retrieved 4 June 2007. 
  7. ^ "The stars of The Lord of the Rings trilogy reach their journey's end". Archived from the original on 6 March 2007. Retrieved 31 May 2007. 
  8. ^ Source: There and Back Again. Article on Boyd's love of holidaying in Scotland – The Scotsman, 28 July 2008 [2]
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Dominic Monaghan | Lost Star Gets Lead Role | Contactmusic
  13. ^
  14. ^ Fulton, Rick (4 January 2013). "Scots actor and musician Billy Boyd on juggling his acting and music career". Daily Record. Retrieved 28 January 2013. 

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