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Duncan Macrae (actor)

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Duncan Macrae (actor)

Duncan Macrae

John Duncan Macrae (20 August 1905 – 23 March 1967) was one of the leading Scottish actors of his generation. He worked mainly as a stage actor, with only a limited number of screen appearances. He was also a comedian, with a 'glaikit' (Scots word for naïve or clueless) mannerism.


  • Life and career 1
  • Selected filmography 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Life and career

He was born at 118 Kirkland Street, Maryhill, Glasgow, the fourth of the six children of James Macrae, a sergeant in the Glasgow police force, and his wife, Catherine Graham. He attended Allan Glen's School and matriculated in the engineering faculty at Glasgow University in 1923–4, but did not graduate.

He was a member, along with Stanley Baxter, of the early Citizens' Theatre company in Glasgow,[1] and was best known in his early years for his performance as King James VI in Jamie the Saxt by Robert McLellan.

He had a role in the 1949 Ealing comedy Whisky Galore!, based on the book by Sir Compton Mackenzie, and, in the first TV series adapted from stories about Para Handy - Master Mariner, Neil Munro's masterpiece of west coast "high jinks", Macrae played the eponymous Captain. He had a home in Millport on the island of Cumbrae.[2] In 1953 he starred alongside Jean Anderson in the role of James MacKenzie, an embittered settler in the drama The Kidnappers. One of the film's most memorable moments comes with the horror on Duncan Macrae's face at what his grandchild must have thought of him when the little boy implores "Don't eat the babbie".

During the 1960s he appeared in episodes of the cult TV series The Avengers and The Prisoner, and as Inspector Mathis in the Bond spoof Casino Royale.[1]

Macrae became a mainstay of television Hogmanay celebrations in the 1950s and 1960s with a rendition of his song (in Scots), "The Wee Cock Sparra".

Macrae died in March 1967, in Glasgow, before the release of his final two film appearances in Casino Royale, and 30 Is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia.

Selected filmography


  1. ^ a b Stevens, Christopher (2010). Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams. John Murray. p. 386.  
  2. ^ Scottish Daily Record. "Millport.(Town of the Week)". Retrieved 10 December 2005. 

External links

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