Beattie was born in Bundorran, County Donegal, but was raised in Glasgow. She studied Dramatic Art at the city’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland). In her final year she won the James Bridie medal. Beattie is a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s ‘Histories Ensemble’, where her roles have included Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester in ‘Henry VI Part II’, and the ‘Duchess of York in Richard III’. However, she is perhaps best known for her television roles which have included the BBC series ‘Casualty’ (1991-3), ITV dramas ‘Taggart’ (1985-2000) and ‘The Bill’ (1990-2003).