Madeleine Christie, actress; born January 18, 1904, died February 1, 1996

OVER a long working lifetime, Edinburgh-born actress Madeleine Christie distinguished herself in roles as diverse as Dame Sensualitie in Tyrone Guthrie's 1949 production of The Thrie Estates, Marya Vassilyevna in Chekov's Uncle Vanya at the National Theatre, London, and a titled lady in STV's Take the High Road. She died yesterday in London at the age of 92.

Madeleine Christie's own high road to success began with studies at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London. She did little stage work until the early 1940s, concentrating on her domestic responsibilities as wife and mother. She then acted with the Wilson Barrett Company in Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen and subsequently with the Glasgow Citizens' Company for several years, in plays such as Bridie's Meeting at Night with Duncan Macrae.

Partly through the influence of Guthrie she became freelance and took part in several major productions at Stratford, Ontario.

She also played Queen Victoria at Edinburgh Tattoos in the early 1950s, driving in a landau attended by ladies-in-waiting. The company, having donned their period dress in the City Chambers, clattered up the High Street to the tattoo with military precision.

Christie recalled one evening waving to a very old man on the way. He seemed thunderstruck and practically collapsed. She realised he probably thought he was seeing the real Victoria in a timewarp.

Christie was also a pioneer of television drama, taking part in the first production from Scotland in 1952. The play was Barrie's The Old Lady Shows Her Medals. She appeared increasingly on TV after that and also made several films. Her career also took her to Broadway.

Beautiful as a young woman, Madeleine Christie retained her joi de vivre and strong personality into old age. Her husband, David, a Glasgow lawyer, died in 1950. She leaves a son, Pat Walker, former assistant controller at BBC Scotland, actress daughter Amanda Walker, and adult grandchildren.