Elder, Michael (Aiken) 1931-2004
ELDER, Michael (Aiken) 1931-2004
See index for CA sketch: Born April 30, 1931, in London, England; died July 28, 2004, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Actor and author. Elder had a long career as a stage actor and author, but is best remembered for his role on the Scottish soap opera Take the High Road and for his science fiction novels. Evacuated to Scotland with the start of World War II, he suffered from diabetes from a young age but compensated for this suffering by throwing himself into acting and writing. He first began appearing on stage at the age of twelve and wrote his first published book, The Affair at Invergarroch (1950), when he was only seventeen. Elder enjoyed repertory theater best and performed for the Citizens Theatre Company in Glasgow and the Edinburgh Gateway Company during the 1950s. He later branched out into radio and television, appearing most famously in the part of a doctor in the Take the High Road series, which ran for seventeen years, for which he also wrote some of the scripts. In 1990, he also published the retrospective Take the High Road: The First Ten Years. Elder also wrote scripts for other BBC series and wrote some plays for the theater, the most successful of these being 1986's Whalers, for which he received a Fringe First Award. As a fiction writer, Elder wrote a number of theater-related novels, including The Phantom in the Wings (1957), but he was more often recognized for his sometimes dystopian science fiction, including Paradise Is Not Enough (1971), Double Time (1976), Oil-Seeker (1977), Mindquest (1978), and Oil-Planet (1978). His nonfiction includes For Those in Peril: The Story of the Life-Boat Service (1963)—he served as editor of the Scottish Life-Boat from 1967 to 1984—and two biographies for children: The Young Martin Luther (1966) and The Young James Barrie (1968). Among his later publications in what proved to be a prolific career are Danger in the Glen (1984), Mist on the Moorland (1985), The Man from France (1986), and The Last of the Lairds (1987).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Independent (London, England), August 15, 2004, p. 31.
Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland), August 9, 2004.
Scotsman,http://news.scotsman.com/ (August 12, 2004).