SCOTTISH screenwriter and playwright Roger MacDougall has died at a

home for actors. He was 82.

''He was working on his ideas right up to the day he died,'' said Ms

Moira Miller, administrator at Denville Hall, Northwood, near London.

She could not specify the cause of death.

Mr MacDougall made his name in the heyday of the Ealing comedies in

the 1950s with the script he wrote with Mr John Dighton and Mr Alexander

Mackendrick -- The Man in the White Suit. The satire on materialism

starred Alec Guinness, who was nominated for an Oscar.

Although he worked in film, Mr MacDougall's heart was in the theatre.

''I am interested in words and ideas,'' he said.

''Films are all, what happens next? To me, why did that happen? is

more interesting. Only in the theatre is the writer in control.''

His plays included The Gentle Gunman, To Dorothy a Son, and MacAdam

and Eve written in 1950, Escapade in 1952, The Facts of Life in 1954,

The Delegate in 1955, Double Image in 1956, Hide and Seek in 1957,

Trouble With Father in 1964, and Jack in the Box in 1971.

In the 1950s, Mr MacDougall became ill with multiple sclerosis and was

left nearly blind and in a wheelchair. To combat the symptoms, he went

on a strict diet almost free of carbohydrates. ''His diet certainly had

effected an enormous remission for him and he hoped it would help

others,'' said Ms Miller.

In 1963, Mr MacDougall settled in California where he taught screen

writing. Within a few months, he was able to transfer from a wheelchair

to an electric golf cart and, by the time he returned to England in

1970, he was on his feet again.

Mr Bryan Forbes, a friend, said in the Daily Telegraph that he was

among many multiple sclerosis sufferers who benefited from Mr

MacDougall's convictions.

''He persisted over the years, frequently published articles and

pamphlets in an attempt to persuade orthodox medical opinion that his

logical approach was, at the very least, worthy of further

examination,'' said Mr Forbes.

''It was a lonely and, I suspect, sometimes a sad quest he pursued,

self-inflicted, denying his other considerable talents as a writer.'' Mr

Forbes said that Mr MacDougall wrote to him the day before he died.

''Still waiting hopefully with a touch of anxiety,'' the letter said.

The son of teachers, Mr MacDougall was born in Bearsden, Glasgow, on

August 2, 1910. After graduating in law from Glasgow University, he

headed to London and a career as a freelance writer.

Mr MacDougall married Miss Renee Dunlop in 1935. She died in 1977. He

is survived by a daughter, Elspeth, a son, Lindsay, and two