Archie Duncan (actor)

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Archie Duncan
Richard Greene and Archie Duncan - Broadcasting, June 30, 1958.jpg
Richard Greene and Archie Duncan (1958)
Born(1914-05-26)26 May 1914
Died24 July 1979(1979-07-24) (aged 65)
Years active1948-1975

Archie Duncan (26 May 1914 24 July 1979) was a Scottish actor born in Glasgow. [1]

Glasgow City and council area in Scotland

Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, and the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Historically part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland; the local authority is Glasgow City Council. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. It is the fifth most visited city in the UK.


Duncan's father was a regimental sergeant major in the army and his mother was a postmistress. He attended Glasgow's Govan High School and worked as a welder in Glasgow shipyards for a decade. [2]

Regimental sergeant major (RSM) is an appointment that may be held by warrant officers class 1 (WO1) in the British Army, the British Royal Marines and in the armies of many Commonwealth and former Commonwealth nations, including Australia, Kenya and New Zealand. It is also an appointment that may be held by chief warrant officers (CWO) in the Canadian Forces and warrant officers of any grade in the Singapore Armed Forces, and is a rank in itself in the Irish Defence Forces and formerly in the British Army, Royal Marines and United States Army. Only one warrant officer holds the appointment of RSM in a regiment or battalion, making him the senior warrant officer; in a unit with more than one WO1, the RSM is considered to be "first amongst equals". The RSM is primarily responsible for maintaining standards and discipline and acts as a parental figure to their subordinates and also to junior officers, even though they technically outrank the RSM.

Govan High School is a secondary school situated in Govan, Glasgow, Scotland. It opened on its current site in 1969 and in 2010 it celebrated its centenary, with Sir Alex Ferguson attending the event.

He began his career in repertory theatre and West End plays. His professional acting debut was in Juno and the Paycock in May 1944 at the Alhambra Theatre, Glasgow. [2]

Alhambra Theatre Glasgow former theatre in Glasgow, Scotland

The Alhambra Theatre, Glasgow opened on 19 December 1910 at the corner of Waterloo Street and Wellington Street, Glasgow under the direction of Sir Alfred Butt and was acknowledged as one of the best equipped theatres in Britain, planned to accommodate 2,800 people.

Although he appeared in over 50 television series and movie roles, he is best remembered for two: Inspector Lestrade in the 1954 series Sherlock Holmes [3] :960 and as Little John in The Adventures of Robin Hood [3] from 1955 to 1960.

Inspector Lestrade fictional character from Sherlock Holmes

Inspector G. Lestrade, or Mr. Lestrade, is a fictional character appearing in several of the Sherlock Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle used the name of a friend from his days at the University of Edinburgh, a Saint Lucian medical student, Joseph Alexandre Lestrade. In ”The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”, Lestrade's first initial is revealed to be G. He is described as “a little sallow rat-faced, dark-eyed fellow” in A Study in Scarlet and “a lean, ferret-like man, furtive and sly-looking”," in ”The Boscombe Valley Mystery”.

Little John legendary character from the Robin Hood legend

“Little” John is said to have been Robin Hood's chief lieutenant and second-in-command of the Merry Men.

<i>The Adventures of Robin Hood</i> (TV series) British television series

The Adventures of Robin Hood is a British television series comprising 143 half-hour, black and white episodes broadcast weekly between 1955 and 1959 on ITV. It starred Richard Greene as the outlaw Robin Hood, and Alan Wheatley as his nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham. The show followed the legendary character Robin Hood and his band of merry men in Sherwood Forest and the surrounding vicinity. While some episodes dramatised the traditional Robin Hood tales, most were original dramas created by the show's writers and producers.

Duncan was replaced in the Little John role by Rufus Cruikshank for 13 episodes after Duncan was injured when a horse bolted toward spectators, mostly children, watching the location filming of the episode "Checkmate" on 20 April 1955. He grabbed the bridle, stopping the horse, but the cart it was pulling ran him over, causing a fractured kneecap and cuts and bruises. He received the Queen's Commendation for Bravery Award [2] and £1,360 in damages from Sapphire films.

He also played the ditch digger in the 1969 film Ring of Bright Water who dispatched the star otter Mij with his spade, towards the end. [4]

<i>Ring of Bright Water</i> (film) 1969 film by Jack Couffer

Ring of Bright Water is a 1969 British-American feature film starring Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna. It is a story about a Londoner and his pet otter living on the Scottish coast. The story is fictional, but is adapted from the 1960 autobiographical book of the same name by Gavin Maxwell. It featured the stars of Born Free, another film about a close relationship between humans and a wild animal.

On 24 July 1979 Duncan died at home in London. He was 65. [2]


1948 Counterblast Dr. McKegneyUncredited
1949Operation DiamondMcPherson
1949 Floodtide Charlie Campbell
1949 The Bad Lord Byron John Murray
1950The Gorbals StoryBull
1950 The Elusive Pimpernel Man in bath
1951 Happy Go Lovely Police InspectorUncredited
1951 Flesh and Blood Sergeant
1951 Circle of Danger AngusUncredited
1951 The Lavender Hill Mob Chief CashierUncredited
1951 Green Grow the Rushes Constable Pettigrew
1952 The Last Page Police ConstableUncredited
1952 The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men Red Gill
1952 Home at Seven Station SergeantUncredited
1952 Castle in the Air Constable
1952 You're Only Young Twice
1952 The Brave Don't Cry Walter Hardie
1952 Hot Ice Wilson
1953 Street Corner Chief InspectorUncredited
1953 Laxdale Hall Police Sergeant
1953 Johnny on the Run The Crofter
1953 Twice Upon a Time Doorman
1953 Counterspy Jim Fenton
1953 The Master of Ballantrae MessengerUncredited
1953 Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue Dugal MacGregor
1954 Trouble in the Glen Nolly Dukes
1956 X the Unknown Sgt. YeardyeUncredited
1957The Devil's PassGeorge Jolly
1957 Saint Joan Robert de Baudricourt
1957 Saint Joan Robert de Baudricourt
1958 Harry Black Woolsey
1959 John Paul Jones Duncan MacBean
1960 The Boy and the Pirates Scoggins
1960 Tess of the Storm Country Hamish MacLean
1961 Very Important Person Scottish CaptainUncredited
1961 What a Whopper Macdonald
1962 Postman's Knock Inspector
1963 The Mouse on the Moon USAF General
1963 Lancelot and Guinevere Sir Lamorak
1964 The Horror of It All Muldoon Marley
1967 The Man Outside Supt. Barnes
1969 Ring of Bright Water Roadmender
1975 The Wilby Conspiracy Gordon(final film role)

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  1. "Archie Duncan".
  2. 1 2 3 4 Aaker, Everett (2011). Encyclopedia of Early Television Crime Fighters: All Regular Cast Members in American Crime and Mystery Series, 1948-1959. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. pp. 204–206. ISBN   978-0-7864-6409-8.
  3. 1 2 Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 16. ISBN   978-0-7864-6477-7.
  4. "Ring of Bright Water - BBC Two". BBC.