Saturday, April 18, 2009

Guest Stars of Doctor Who: Michael Sheard

Michael Sheard was born in Aberdeen, Scotland; the son of a Church Minister, and was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. During his National Service, Sheard was a Royal Air Force aircraftsman

Sheard made six appearances in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, with the First, (The Ark) Third, (The Mind of Evil) Fouth (Pyramids of Mars and The Invisible Enemy) Fifth (Castrovalva) and Seventh Doctors (Remembrance of the Daleks).

He also appeared with Eighth Doctor Paul McGann, in The Stones of Venice (a Doctor Who audio drama produced by Big Finish Productions).

He was often a regular guest at both Doctor Who and Star Wars conventions over the years in the UK and America.

Star Wars fans know him as Admiral Ozzel, who Vader choked to death, from The Empire Strikes Back, whereas fans of UK Children's show Grange Hill will remember his performance as the terrifying deputy headmaster Mr Maurice Bronson. In 1983, he played Herr Grunwald, the German manager of a building site in the first series of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

He portrayed Adolf Hitler five times, including in The Tomorrow People (1978) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). He also portrayed Heinrich Himmler three times. In 1980, he had a major supporting role in Stephen Poliakoff's esteemed B.B.C. television play Caught on a Train. He also appeared as the police sergeant in the fifth episode of the comedy series Mind Your Language.

In the Space: 1999 science fiction television series, he played Dr. Darwin King in the episode, "Dragon's Domain".

In February 2005 he played a small cameo role as the narrator in Star Wars fanatic films Order of the Sith: Vengeance and its sequel Downfall - Order of the Sith - alongside Jeremy Bulloch and David Prowse. These fanatic films were made in England in support of Save the Children.

He died 31 August 2005, aged sixty-seven years, at his home on the Isle of Wight. He had been suffering from cancer. A few weeks previously on 9 August he appeared via telephone on the Iain Lee show on LBC and talked about his many appearances in film and television.

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