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Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England, UK
|Spouse(s)||Lynn Farleigh (1965–70)
Heather Sneddon (1970–77) (divorced)
Ann Smithson (1979–present)
Michael Jayston (born Michael James) is an English actor.
Jayston played Shakespearean roles on TV including Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968), Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice (1973) and Edmund in King Lear (1975). An early recurring television role was as civil servant Dowling in the final series of boardroom drama The Power Game in 1969.
In 1970, he played Henry Ireton in Cromwell. In 1971, he starred as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in the film Nicholas and Alexandra, then in 1973 took the lead role of Mr Rochester in a BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre opposite Sorcha Cusack. He appeared as Gratiano opposite Laurence Olivier as Shylock in the National Theatre's film The Merchant of Venice (1974). He made two appearances in the anthology series Thriller in 1974 and in 1975 played Quiller, a spy who never used a gun, in the British TV series of the same name. He appeared as Dornford Yates' gentleman hero Jonathan Mansel in the 1977 BBC adaptation of She Fell Among Thieves. In 1979, he played Peter Guillam opposite Alec Guinness in the serial Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
In 1986, Jayston played the role of the Valeyard in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. In the serial The Ultimate Foe, the Valeyard is revealed to be a manifestation of the Doctor's dark side. He later reprised the part of the Valeyard in He Jests at Scars... and Trial of the Valeyard, audio plays in the Big Finish Productions' Doctor Who Unbound and main range series.
Jayston played Neville Badger in the 1989 television adaptation of David Nobbs's comedy of manners A Bit of a Do. He portrayed James Bond in a radio adaptation of You Only Live Twice in 1990. In 1991 he appeared as Colonel Mustard in the television series Cluedo and a year later made a guest appearance in the Press Gang episode "UnXpected". Other TV appearances include in EastEnders, Coronation Street, Only Fools and Horses, The Darling Buds of May, Tales of the Unexpected, The Bill and the character of Donald De Souza in Emmerdale. He also appeared in Holby City and Tracy Beaker Returns as Mr Spooner.
- Cromwell (1970)
- Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
- Follow Me! (1972)
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1972)
- Bequest to the Nation (1973)
- Tales That Witness Madness (1973)
- The Homecoming (1973)
- Craze (1974)
- The Internecine Project (1974)
- Dominique (1978)
- Zulu Dawn (1979)
- Highlander: The Final Dimension (1994)
- Element of Doubt (1996)