Archie Duncan (actor)

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

Archie Duncan
Richard Greene and Archie Duncan - Broadcasting, June 30, 1958.jpg
Richard Greene (left) and Archie Duncan in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1958)
Born(1914-05-26)26 May 1914
Died24 July 1979(1979-07-24) (aged 65)
Years active1948–1975

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]

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]

Although he appeared in over 50 television series and movie roles, he is best remembered for Inspector Lestrade in the 1954 series Sherlock Holmes[3]: 960  and Little John in The Adventures of Robin Hood[3] from 1955 to 1959.

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 over him causing a fractured kneecap and cuts and bruises. He received the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct[4] and £1,360 in damages from Sapphire films.[2]

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.[5]

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


Year Title Role Notes
1948 Counterblast Dr. McKegney Uncredited
1949 Operation Diamond McPherson
1949 Floodtide Charlie Campbell
1949 The Bad Lord Byron John Murray
1950 The Gorbals Story Bull
1950 The Elusive Pimpernel Man in bath
1951 Happy Go Lovely Police Inspector Uncredited
1951 Flesh and Blood Sergeant
1951 Circle of Danger Angus Uncredited
1951 The Lavender Hill Mob Chief Cashier Uncredited
1951 Green Grow the Rushes Constable Pettigrew
1952 The Last Page Police Constable Uncredited
1952 The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men Red Gill
1952 Home at Seven Station Sergeant Uncredited
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 Inspector Uncredited
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 Messenger Uncredited
1953 Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue Dugal MacGregor
1954 Trouble in the Glen Nolly Dukes
1956 X the Unknown Sgt. Yeardye Uncredited
1957 The Devil's Pass George Jolly
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 Captain Uncredited
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)


  1. ^ "Archie Duncan Filmography". British Film Institute.
  2. ^ a b c d 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. ^ a b 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. ^ "No. 40546". The London Gazette (Supplement). 22 July 1955. p. 4305.
  5. ^ "Ring of Bright Water - BBC Two". BBC.

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