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28 December 1949 |
McRae was part of the radical theatre group 7:84 before graduating from Edinburgh University, and by 1977 he had joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has concentrated mainly on avant-garde and political theatre.
His most mainstream American film role was as Arvel Crynyd in Return of the Jedi; he was uncredited for his brief appearance. In the UK he had substantial roles in The French Lieutenant's Woman and Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan.
He has performed in several musicals on the London stage, including Mamma Mia! and Miss Saigon, in which he played the part of The Engineer. He performed the role of Mr Stopnick in the UK premiere of Caroline, or Change at the National Theatre, which won the Best Musical Award from the London newspaper the Evening Standard. In 2008 he played the part of Scarecrow in the Southbank's production of The Wizard of Oz.
In 2009, McRae won rave reviews as the title role in The Execution of Gary Glitter.
McRae starred in the play The Kreutzer Sonata, based on Tolstoy's novella, which opened at the Gate Theatre in London in 2009 with McRae in the solo role, and was revived for a second run in 2012. The production also transferred to New York City. His performance received acclaim both in the UK from many top publications, and in the U.S. from the New York Times.
|Film or Television Title||Year(s)||Role|
|Lewis: Counter Culture Blues||2010, TV||Mack Maguire|
|The Execution of Gary Glitter||2009, TV||Gary Glitter|
|Frances Tuesday||2004, TV||Feltham|
|Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius||2004||Jimmy Maiden|
|Silent Witness||2003, TV||Supt. Colin Osbourne|
|Mansfield Park||1999||Mr. Price|
|Shakespeare: The Animated Tales||1994, TV||Hortensio|
|The Secret Rapture||1993||Norman|
|King of the Wind||1989||Cook|
|Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future||1985, TV||Breugel|
|Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes||1984||Willy|
|Return of the Jedi||1983||Green Leader|
|The French Lieutenant's Woman||1981||Sam|
- Brantley, Ben (2012-03-25). "'The Kreutzer Sonata,' Based on Tolstoy, at La MaMa". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-12-20.
- Ian McKellen, Alan Bates, Hugh Hudson, et al. For Ian Charleson: A Tribute. London: Constable and Company, 1990. pp. 13–20. ISBN 0-09-470250-0