Andrew Cruickshank

For 19th century Victorian colonial politician, see Andrew Cruikshank.
Andrew Cruickshank
Born Andrew John Maxton Cruickshank
(1907-12-25)25 December 1907
Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK
Died 29 April 1988(1988-04-29) (aged 80)
London, England, UK
Years active 1937–1988
Spouse(s) Curigwen Lewis

Andrew John Maxton Cruickshank (25 December 1907 in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire  29 April 1988 in London)[1][2] was a Scottish supporting actor, most famous for his portrayal of Dr Cameron in the long-running UK BBC television series Dr Finlay's Casebook, which ran for 191 episodes from 1962 until 1971.[3]

Life and career

Andrew Cruickshank (Junior) was born to Andrew and Mary Cruickshank,[4] and was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School. He was to have entered the profession of civil engineering after completing his education, but instead joined provincial repertory theatres,[5] leading to 1930 roles in Othello at the Savoy Theatre in London, as Maudelyn in Richard of Bordeaux at the Empire Theatre on Broadway in 1934,[6] and culminating in his principal appearance (as three characters) on the London stage in 1935, at the Gate Theatre in the play Victoria Regina. He returned to Broadway in 1951 until 1952, as the Earl of Warwick in George Bernard Shaw's play Saint Joan, with Uta Hagen in the lead role.[6]

His first film role followed in 1937, as the poet Robert Burns in Auld Lang Syne. Subsequently, however, he would be typecast into portrayals of formal authority figures, such as judges and doctors.[7]

He appeared in many television plays and series, amongst them A. J. Cronin's Dr Finlay's Casebook, containing his most famous characterisation, Doctor Angus Cameron, a crusty but erudite senior partner in the rural general practice run in Tannochbrae, with the help of the much younger Doctor Alan Finlay (Bill Simpson) and "stiff Presbyterian" housekeeper Janet (Barbara Mullen).[8] The highly popular BBC production ran from 16 August 1962 until 3 January 1971, after which Cruickshank continued with it on BBC Radio 4 for seven years, it having been adapted to that format since 10 March 1970. He finally bade farewell to the character on 18 December 1978, following its parting episode, "Going Home".[9] In 1963 he played the title role in the BBC sitcom Mr Justice Duncannon, having appeared as that character in the final episode of the 1962 sitcom Brothers in Law.[10]

His final performance on the stage was as Justice Treadwell in Beyond Reasonable Doubt at the Queen's Theatre in 1987.[4] His last appearance of any kind was at the age of 80, in the first episode ("Kicks")[11] of series two of the ITV television production, King & Castle,[12] which starred Nigel Planer and Derek Martin as partners in a debt collection agency, and in which Cruickshank played "Mr Hodinett". It was aired on 10 May 1988, just over a week after his death.[12]

He was chair of the board of directors of Edinburgh Festival Fringe between 1970 and 1983.

He married Curigwen (née Lewis), and they had one son and two daughters.[4]


He has been immortalised in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, by the naming of a road in his honour (Cruickshank Grove).[13]

Selected filmography


  1. Date of birth and death: website.
  2. Google Books search: "Andrew Cruickshank", "29 April 1988" - listed in Oxford dictionary of national biography (2004, p. 518); Annual Obituary, 1988 (p. 182)
  3. Dr Finlay's Casebook: BBC Scotland website.
  4. 1 2 3 Stage performances (1930-1987) and other biography: website.
  5. Education and early professional life Archived 10 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.: Crystal Reference Encyclopedia website.
  6. 1 2 Roles on Broadway, John Maudelyn (Richard of Bordeaux), Earl of Warwick (Saint Joan): website.
  7. First film role in Auld Lang Syne (1937): website.
  8. Dr Finlay's Casebook, more detailed profile: British Film Institute's Screenonline website.
  9. ""Finlay" radio episode listings". Archived from the original on 27 October 2009. Retrieved 2007-10-31.: from Ian Beard's personal website.
  10. Lewishohn, Mark (2003). Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy. London: BBC Worldwide. ISBN 0-563-48755-0.
  11. His final role, Mr Hodinett in King & Castle, ITV, 1988: website.
  12. 1 2 King & Castle, ITV: website.
  13. Cruickshank Grove Archived 14 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine., the road named after him in Milton Keynes: website.

External links

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