SCOTS actor Alex McCrindle, who played Jock Anderson in the radio

serial Dick Barton, Special Agent, and founded Scottish Equity in 1953,

has died after a short illness. He was 78.

The Glasgow-born actor, who played several major historic Scottish

characters, also appeared as a newspaper reporter in the classic Alfred

Hitchcock version of the The Thirty-Nine Steps in 1935 and more recently

as General Dodona in the science-fiction movie Star Wars.

The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, of which McCrindle was

a fellow, yesterday described him as ''a professional's professional''

who would be greatly missed.

Mr Russell Boyce, deputy principal, said:''No actor has worked harder

for the theatre profession in Scotland than Alex McCrindle. While highly

regarded as an actor, he will be remembered most for his constant

battles on behalf of his fellow actors. It is Alex's passion that will

be missed most.''

Mary Picken, Scottish secretary of Equity, said: ''Clearly, Alex will

be best remembered in Scotland for setting up the Scottish committee of


''His death is a sad loss. He was a constant source of ideas and


Iain Cuthbertson, who was described by one of McCrindle's daughters as

an honorary member of the family, said ''I have known him since 1955 and

watched his children grow up. He was a man of great truth and integrity

who couldn't be bothered with the peely-wally side of Scotland.

''Alex created Equity in Scotland and we would not be where we are

today as actors without his great achievement.''

Russell Hunter, who is rehearsing for Tony Roper's new play Paddy's

Market at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow said: ''I'll remember him best not

so much as an actor but as an absolutely delightful man and a splendid


Born in Elderslie Street, Anderston, the son of a steward on the

paddle steamer Waverley, McCrindle entered the profession as a youngster

and went on to play numerous prestige roles such as John Knox, Walter

Scott, and Robert Burns.

But he is most likely to be associated with Jock Anderson, an off-beat

character who captured the public's imagination in the radio serial Dick

Barton, Special Agent, which ran from 1946 to 1951.

McCrindle, whose late wife was the authoress Honor Arundel , also

presented the BBC's Saturday afternoon sports programme before Eamonn

Andrews took over and the popular record show Housewives Choice.

However, before a party to celebrate his 75th birthday in 1986, he

forecast a revival of live theatre of which he had a great love.

''There is no substitute for seeing artists live, getting the smell of

the atmosphere, the waft from the stage,'' he said.

It was perhaps sadly appropriate that McCrindle, who lived in Perth,

was in London to attend an annual meeting of Equity when he took ill. He

is survived by three daughters, Catherine, Jessica, and Jean, and six