- Category : Actor
- Type : ME
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (62)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Consciousness 1
John Altman (born 2 March 1952) is an English actor and singer, perhaps best known for playing "Nasty" Nick Cotton in the popular BBC soap opera EastEnders, being among the show's original cast members in 1985 and most recently appearing during 2009. In 2010 he became the new frontman of the band Heavy Metal Kids following the death of former frontman Gary Holton in 1985.
Altman was born in Reading, Berkshire. He made his acting debut in the 1979 film The First Great Train Robbery where he played a minor role. Later that same year he portrayed musician George Harrison in the biographical television film Birth of The Beatles. He made brief appearances in several other films including Quadrophenia (1979) and An American Werewolf in London (1981). Altman also featured in a 1982 short public information film, "Stupid Git", part of the British government's campaign against drink-driving.
In 1985, he first appeared as Nick Cotton in the new BBC television soap opera EastEnders appearing in the very first episode in February that year. He has been in the show on a recurring basis, with his most recent and last appearance in June 2009. His character has been part of many famous storylines in the show including the murder of Reg Cox and Eddie Royle, his attempt to kill his own mother Dot by poisoning her and his drug addiction.
He also appeared in an adult pantomime, which released on video in 1994 titled Pussy in Boots. In the pantomime he appeared alongside fellow EastEnders stars Mike Reid and Barbara Windsor. In 2001 he won the Rear of the Year Award alongside Claire Sweeney. In the same year he also performed in the Leiber and Stoller tribute evening at the Hammersmith Apollo, singing Trouble, originally performed by Elvis Presley.
In 2002 he toured around the UK playing Billy Flynn in the long-running musical Chicago. He also appeared in the John Godber written stage play Bouncers opposite fellow soap actor Nigel Pivaro who is best known for playing Terry Duckworth in Coronation Street.
In 2004 he made an appearance in the comedy sketch series Bo' Selecta! as his EastEnders character. In 2006, Altman was set to appear in an upcoming British film called It's Been Real, the trailer can be seen on YouTube. It still has yet to be released in cinemas. John Altman also appeared on 18 July 2009 episode of Totally Saturday by climbing out of the boot of a car.
In August 2010 he joined a band called Heavy Metal Kids. From late 2010, until early 2011, Altman appeared in adverts for Daz along with actors (Michael Starke and Amanda Barrie), from rival soap opera Coronation Street.
In February 2011, he appeared on Live From Studio Five.
In January 2012, he appeared as one of the first five couples in the third series of Celebrity Coach Trip partnering fellow actor Derek Martin.
Altman married Brigitte in 1986 and they divorced in 1997. He has one daughter named Rosanna. Having been born in Reading, he moved to Kent as a young child, he attended the Community College, Whitstable, then known as the Sir William Nottidge.
He is a high-profile supporter of the Rose Theatre, Kingston. In 2008, Altman played the part of King Rat in Dick Whittington, a pantomime featured at the Hexagon venue in Reading, Berkshire.
June Brown who plays his on-screen mother Dot Cotton, shares a great working relationship with Altman and she campaigned for five years to the producers to bring him back to EastEnders following his departure in 2001. According to Altman, she is like his second mother and she helped him throughout his alcoholism during the 1990s.
Altman is a patron of the Born Free Foundation and has supported the wildlife charity for many years.
In September 2010, John participated in the Bupa Great Yorkshire Run to raise funds for Alzheimer's Society, Bupa's nominated charity for the 2010 Bupa Great Run Series.