The opening tee shot at Royal Tarlair was taken by the incomparable Dr. Walford Bodie; probably the towns most famous son, whose real name was Samuel Murphy Bodie (1869–1939). He was a Scottish showman, hypnotist, ventriloquist and stage magician, famous for his ‘mock’ electrocutions involving a replica of ‘The Electric Chair’. He also performed an act of ‘Bloodless Surgery’, claiming he could use electricity, hypnosis and manipulation to cure ‘all kinds of ailments and disabilities although with the grip he demonstrates in the picture above he might have trouble curing slices! His performances though were enormously popular in the early 20th century, and inspired both Harry Houdini and Charlie Chaplin.
Charlie Chaplin imitated Bodie on stage in 1906, and continued to do so in Hollywood years later, while Bodie and Houdini were firm friends for many years. Numerous letters were exchanged between the two. Walford Bodie claimed to be the ‘Most Remarkable Man on Earth’ and at one stage, in the Edwardian decade, the handsome young Scotsman became one of the world’s highest paid entertainers; if not the highest.
Walford Bodie, Born: Samuel Murphy Bodie, 11 June 1869, Macduff, Scotland, Died: 1939 (aged 69–70), Burial place: Macduff, Scotland