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Keith Joseph Michell (1 December 1926 – 20 November 2015) was an Australian actor who worked primarily in the United Kingdom, and was best known for his television and film portrayals of King Henry VIII. He appeared extensively in Shakespeare
Shakespeare
and other classics and musicals in Britain, and was also in several Broadway productions. He was an artistic director of the Chichester Festival Theatre
Chichester Festival Theatre
in the 1970s and later had a recurring role on Murder, She Wrote.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Career 3 Personal life and death 4 Filmography 5 References 6 External links

Early life[edit] Michell was born in Adelaide, South Australia, and brought up in Warnertown, near Port Pirie. His parents were Joseph, a cabinet-maker, and Alice (née Aslat). He was educated at Port Pirie
Port Pirie
High School, Adelaide
Adelaide
Teachers' College and Adelaide
Adelaide
University. He began his career as an art teacher and made his professional acting debut in 1947 in the comedy Lover’s Leap, by Bill Daily, at Adelaide's Playbox Theatre. He then worked in radio for ABC in Adelaide. In 1949, he moved to Britain to study at the Old Vic
Old Vic
Theatre School.[1] Career[edit] Michell joined the Young Vic
Young Vic
theatre company and made his first appearance in London
London
by 1951. An early role there was Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice. His first London
London
musical was And So to Bed, playing King Charles II. With the Shakespeare
Shakespeare
Memorial Theatre Company in 1952–1953, he toured in Australia. Then, at Stratford-upon-Avon, he appeared in a series of Shakespeare
Shakespeare
plays: The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Troilus and Cressida, and Romeo and Juliet. In 1956, on television, he played Henry Higgins in Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw and, the same year, at the Royal Court Theatre, he starred in the title role in Ronald Duncan's Don Juan and in several Old Vic
Old Vic
Company productions as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, Proteus in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Antony in Antony and Cleopatra and Aaron in Titus Andronicus.[1]

Michell at Chichester Festival Theatre
Chichester Festival Theatre
in 1962

In 1958, he played Nestor-Le-Fripe in the musical Irma La Douce, also starring in the role with the National Theatre in Washington DC, and on Broadway in 1960–1961. At the newly opened Chichester Festival Theatre, in 1962, he played the lead, Don John, in The Chances and then Ithocles in The Broken Heart, and in British television adaptations, he starred as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights (1962)[2] and, in a series of Roman plays titled The Spread of the Eagle, he played Mark Antony
Mark Antony
(1963). He later sang in a series of television specials written for him.[1] Also on Broadway, he played the Count in The Rehearsal by Jean Anouilh
Jean Anouilh
(1963). In 1964 in London, he starred as Robert Browning
Robert Browning
in the musical Robert and Elizabeth, opposite Australian soprano June Bronhill.[3] He played in the dual role of Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes
and his fictional creation, Don Quixote, in the musical Man of La Mancha, first starring in the original London production of the musical[4] and then on Broadway. He also starred as Abelard in the Broadway play Abelard and Heloise by Ronald Millar (1971) and as Georges in La Cage aux Folles in the 1980s.[5] On stage, in film and on television, he appeared several times as King Henry VIII, perhaps most memorably in the series The Six Wives of Henry VIII in 1970 and the similar film Henry VIII and his Six Wives (1972). For this he won an Emmy. The actual Emmy was given to Julie Andrews, who presented him with it when he appeared on her show, for the 2nd time.[6]He reprised the role in a 1996 television series adaptation of The Prince and the Pauper. Other films included Dangerous Exile
Dangerous Exile
(1957), The Hellfire Club (1961), Seven Seas to Calais (1962) and The Executioner (1970).[1] He appeared in a series of Gilbert and Sullivan
Gilbert and Sullivan
TV adaptations by Brent Walker.[7] On American television from 1988 to 1993, Michell made appearances on the mystery series Murder, She Wrote, playing Dennis Stanton, a former jewel thief turned insurance claims investigator.[8] He was the artistic director of the Chichester Festival Theatre
Chichester Festival Theatre
from 1974 to 1977, appearing in many of their productions, including as the Director in Tonight We Improvise, as the title character in Oedipus Tyrannus, and in A Month in the Country and The Confederacy by Vanbrugh.[1] As well as acting, Michell pursued other interests: he wrote the musical Pete McGynty and the Dreamtime, an Australian rendering of Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt, the performance of which used Michell's own paintings as backdrops.[9] He enjoyed a recording career as a soloist, with one of his singles, I'll Give You the Earth, which he co-wrote, reaching No. 30 in the UK charts in 1971, boosted by his high profile on television at the time. He also illustrated a limited edition run of William Shakespeare's sonnets, for which he did the calligraphy; and wrote and illustrated a number of macrobiotic cookbooks. Michell himself was a proponent of the macrobiotic diet and philosophy. Michell illustrated Captain Beaky, a collection of Jeremy Lloyd's poems.[4] The Captain Beaky character enjoyed success in the UK in the early 1980s, among both children and adults. The song "Captain Beaky", sung by Michell, peaked at No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart
UK Singles Chart
in 1980.[10] Personal life and death[edit] He married the actress Jeanette Sterke in 1956, and they had a son, Paul, and a daughter, Helena, who appeared in the films Prick Up Your Ears and Maurice.[1] Michell died in Hampstead, London, aged 88.[1][8] Filmography[edit]

Love/Loss (2010) – Joe The Prince and the Pauper
The Prince and the Pauper
(1996) (TV) – King Henry VIII Murder, She Wrote
Murder, She Wrote
(1988–93, TV series) – Dennis Stanton (recurring role) The Deceivers (1988) – Colonel Wilson Captain James Cook (1986, TV series) – Captain James Cook My Brother Tom (1986, TV series) – Edward Quayle The Miracle (1985) (TV) Memorial Day (1983) (TV) – Marsh Ruddigore
Ruddigore
(1982) (TV) – Robin Oakapple/Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd The Gondoliers
The Gondoliers
(1982) (TV) – Don Alhambra del Bolero The Pirates of Penzance
The Pirates of Penzance
(1982) (TV) – Major General Stanley Grendel Grendel Grendel (1981) (voice) – The Shaper The Day Christ Died
The Day Christ Died
(1980) (TV) – Pontius Pilate The Tenth Month (1979) (TV) – Matthew Poole Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
(1979) (TV) – Marcus Antonius The Story of David
The Story of David
(1976) (TV) – Older David The Story of Jacob and Joseph (1974) (TV) – Jacob Moments (1974) – Peter Samuelson The Julie Andrews Hour (1972-3), two episodes, guest (TV)[11] Keith Michell
Keith Michell
at Her Majesty's Show of the Week (1972) (TV) – Himself Henry VIII and His Six Wives (1972) – King Henry VIII The Morecambe and Wise Show (1971) (TV) – Himself/Captain Tony Snug-Fitting 'Wiltons' – The Handsomest Hall in Town (1970) (TV) – Music Hall Performer The Executioner (1970) – Adam Booth The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1970, TV series) – King Henry VIII Play of the Month (1968–69, TV series) – Caliban House of Cards (1968) – Morillon Prudence and the Pill
Prudence and the Pill
(1968) – Dr. Alan Hewitt Thirty-Minute Theatre (1968, TV series) – Martin Hallmark Hall of Fame
Hallmark Hall of Fame
(1967, TV series) – John Churchill Soldier in Love (1967) (TV) – John Churchill The Bergonzi Hand (1963) (TV) – Gabriel Cordier The Spread of the Eagle (1963, TV series) – Marc Antony Dominatore dei sette mari, Il (1962) – Malcolm Marsh Wuthering Heights (1962) (TV) – Heathcliff All Night Long (1962) – Cass The Hellfire Club (1961) – Jason Dow Hour of Great Mysteries (1960, TV series) – Baron Von Ragastein The Gypsy and the Gentleman
The Gypsy and the Gentleman
(1958) – Sir Paul Deverill True as a Turtle
True as a Turtle
(1957) – Harry Bell Dangerous Exile
Dangerous Exile
(1957) – Colonel St. Gerard

References[edit]

^ a b c d e f g Barker, Dennis. "Obituary: Keith Michell". The Guardian.  ^ Wake, Oliver. "Wuthering Heights (1962)". Screenonline. Retrieved 2007-02-25.  ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography – Ronald Erle Grainer ^ a b AllMusic – Keith Michell
Keith Michell
biography; cast album: Man of La Mancha sound recording – Trove entry ^ Keith Mitchell, Internet Broadway Database, accessed 28 November 2015 ^ The Julie Andrews Hour, aired Jan 10 1973 (dvd) ^ Shepherd, Marc. "The Brent Walker Videos", the Gilbert and Sullivan Discography, 5 April 2003, accessed 28 November 2015 ^ a b Barnes, Mike. "Keith Michell, Star of 'Six Wives of Henry VIII,' Dies at 89". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 November 2015.  ^ Pete McGynty and the Dreamtime by Keith Michell
Keith Michell
– Trove entry ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 362. ISBN 9781904994107.  ^ The Julie Andrews Hours dvds

External links[edit]

Keith Michell
Keith Michell
on IMDb

v t e

BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor

Paul Rogers (1955) Peter Cushing
Peter Cushing
(1956) Michael Gough (1957) Michael Hordern
Michael Hordern
(1958) Donald Pleasence
Donald Pleasence
(1959) Patrick McGoohan
Patrick McGoohan
(1960) Lee Montague (1961) Rupert Davies
Rupert Davies
(1962) Harry H. Corbett
Harry H. Corbett
(1963) Alan Badel
Alan Badel
(1964) Patrick Wymark
Patrick Wymark
(1965) Alan Badel
Alan Badel
(1966) Warren Mitchell
Warren Mitchell
(1967) Eric Porter (1968) Roy Dotrice
Roy Dotrice
(1969) Edward Woodward
Edward Woodward
(1970) Keith Michell
Keith Michell
(1971) John Le Mesurier
John Le Mesurier
(1972) Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
(1973) Frank Finlay
Frank Finlay
(1974) Peter Barkworth (1975) John Hurt
John Hurt
(1976) Derek Jacobi
Derek Jacobi
(1977) Peter Barkworth (1978) Edward Fox (1979) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1980) Denholm Elliott
Denholm Elliott
(1981) Anthony Andrews
Anthony Andrews
(1982) Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness
(1983) Alan Bates
Alan Bates
(1984) Tim Pigott-Smith
Tim Pigott-Smith
(1985) Bob Peck (1986) Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
(1987) David Jason (1988) Ray McAnally (1989) John Thaw
John Thaw
(1990) Ian Richardson
Ian Richardson
(1991) Robert Lindsay (1992) John Thaw
John Thaw
(1993) Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane
(1994) Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane
(1995) Robbie Coltrane
Robbie Coltrane
(1996) Nigel Hawthorne (1997) Simon Russell Beale
Simon Russell Beale
(1998) Tom Courtenay
Tom Courtenay
(1999) Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
(2000) Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
(2001) Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
(2002) Albert Finney
Albert Finney
(2003) Bill Nighy
Bill Nighy
(2004) Rhys Ifans
Rhys Ifans
(2005) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2006) Jim Broadbent
Jim Broadbent
(2007) Andrew Garfield
Andrew Garfield
(2008) Stephen Dillane
Stephen Dillane
(2009) Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
(2010) Daniel Rigby (2011) Dominic West
Dominic West
(2012) Ben Whishaw
Ben Whishaw
(2013) Sean Harris (2014) Jason Watkins (2015) Mark Rylance
Mark Rylance
(2016) Adeel Akhtar (2017)

v t e

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Robert Cummings
Robert Cummings
(1955) Lloyd Nolan
Lloyd Nolan
(1956) Jack Palance
Jack Palance
(1957) Peter Ustinov
Peter Ustinov
(1958) Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
(1959) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1960) Maurice Evans (1961) Peter Falk
Peter Falk
(1962) Trevor Howard
Trevor Howard
(1963) Jack Klugman
Jack Klugman
(1964) Alfred Lunt
Alfred Lunt
(1965) Cliff Robertson
Cliff Robertson
(1966) Peter Ustinov
Peter Ustinov
(1967) Melvyn Douglas
Melvyn Douglas
(1968) Paul Scofield
Paul Scofield
(1969) Peter Ustinov
Peter Ustinov
(1970) George C. Scott
George C. Scott
(1971) Keith Michell
Keith Michell
(1972) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1973) Anthony Murphy (1973) Hal Holbrook
Hal Holbrook
(1974) William Holden
William Holden
(1974) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1975) Peter Falk
Peter Falk
(1975) Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
(1976) Hal Holbrook
Hal Holbrook
(1976) Ed Flanders
Ed Flanders
(1977) Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer
(1977) Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire
(1978) Michael Moriarty (1978) Peter Strauss (1979) Powers Boothe
Powers Boothe
(1980) Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
(1981) Mickey Rooney
Mickey Rooney
(1982) Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones
(1983) Laurence Olivier
Laurence Olivier
(1984) Richard Crenna
Richard Crenna
(1985) Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
(1986) James Woods
James Woods
(1987) Jason Robards
Jason Robards
(1988) James Woods
James Woods
(1989) Hume Cronyn
Hume Cronyn
(1990) John Gielgud
John Gielgud
(1991) Beau Bridges
Beau Bridges
(1992) Robert Morse
Robert Morse
(1993) Hume Cronyn
Hume Cronyn
(1994) Raúl Juliá
Raúl Juliá
(1995) Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman
(1996) Armand Assante
Armand Assante
(1997) Gary Sinise
Gary Sinise
(1998) Stanley Tucci
Stanley Tucci
(1999) Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
(2000) Kenneth Branagh
Kenneth Branagh
(2001) Albert Finney
Albert Finney
(2002) William H. Macy
William H. Macy
(2003) Al Pacino
Al Pacino
(2004) Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush
(2005) Andre Braugher
Andre Braugher
(2006) Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
(2007) Paul Giamatti
Paul Giamatti
(2008) Brendan Gleeson
Brendan Gleeson
(2009) Al Pacino
Al Pacino
(2010) Barry Pepper
Barry Pepper
(2011) Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner
(2012) Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas
(2013) Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch
(2014) Richard Jenkins
Richard Jenkins
(2015) Courtney B. Vance
Courtney B. Vance
(2016) Riz Ahmed
Riz Ahmed
(2017)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 34662848 LCCN: n85135535 ISNI: 0000 0001 1890 871X GND: 142277746 SUDOC: 158703642 BNF: cb14071069c (data) MusicBrainz: d811d283-c863-4a95-a486-35094d31d1fd SN

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