About this artwork

Duncan Macrae has been called the greatest actor that Scotland ever produced. A notable figure on the post-war Scottish stage, his angular face and lantern jaw matched a singular, eccentric personality. His wide-ranging acting skills guaranteed his success as a character actor in plays, variety, pantomime and film. From the late 1950s Macrae worked increasingly in television and became known to a large audience in ‘The Avengers’, ‘The Prisoner’, and a popular porridge advert. Macrae and the artist, William Crosbie, were part of the same circle of friends in pre-war Glasgow. During this period Macrae was teaching in Rothesay but frequently visited his friends. Crosbie often provided Macrae with a bed in his Glasgow studio, and later recalled: ‘what better opportunity to paint him’.

William Crosbie

William Crosbie