The Venice Historical Society is showcasing a display of photographs through the end of April as a tribute to the late William “Scotty” McGlynn, a longtime Venice resident who encountered numerous celebrities while working as a main gate guard at Universal Studios for over 30 years.
The display at the Venice Library includes over 40 photos of McGlynn with celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Jimmy Stewart, Dolly Parton, Gene Autry, Dorothy Lamour, Ron Howard, Johnny Grant, Cliff Robertson, Burt Lancaster, Frank Capra and Anthony Perkins.
The photographs on display are courtesy of McGlynn’s wife, Betty, who lives in Venice and has over 100 photos of celebrities with McGlynn, who died in 1995.
McGlynn began working as a main gate guard at Universal Studios in November 1960. He was called a “Hollywood landmark” by journalist James Bacon, friends said.
A native of Cadcow-Hamilton, Scotland, McGlynn came to America in 1948. McGlynn and his family moved to Venice in 1960, the same year he moved onto the lot at Universal where he started as a patrolman on the studio’s back lot. After two years, he took a new job at the front gate.
McGlynn said that he was “star-struck” in the beginning, meeting stars such as Boris Karloff, his family said. Over the years, McGlynn was offered several parts in movies but turned them all down.
An example of how well-liked and well-known McGlynn was at Universal is that a postcard arrived one day that was simply addressed to “Scotty, Universal Studios!” his family said.
The actual list of dignitaries that crossed McGlynn’s path “is endless,” including presidents of nations, U.S. senators, NASA astronauts and professional sports heroes, according to the Venice Historical Society.
McGlynn was married to his wife Betty for over 47 years and they have two sons.