Michael Hawkins (American actor)

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Michael Hawkins
Thomas Knight Slater[1]

(1938-12-26) December 26, 1938 (age 79)[2]
Other namesMichael Gainsborough
Years active1968–1988
RelativesChristian Slater (actor, son)

Michael Hawkins (also known as Michael D. Gainsborough; born Thomas Knight Slater on December 26, 1938) is an American actor.[3] He is the father of actor Christian Slater.

Life and career[edit]

Hawkins was born Thomas Knight Slater in Queens, New York, the son of Helen Margaret (Knight) and Thomas G. Slater.[4] He would later also use the stage name Michael Gainsborough. His uncle was radio personality Bill Slater.[5]

He spent the early part of his childhood in Forest Hills section of Queens, as well as in Texas and Tennessee. Later in the 1940s, he lived in the Strathmore section of Manhasset, Long Island. He was athletic and was one of the faster boys at his grade school, Munsey Park School, and started his acting and singing career in a fourth-grade production of the Gilbert Sullivan operetta, HMS Pinafore, as Captain Corcoran. His family left Manhasset in 1950. It is not clear where he was raised after that point.[6]

After a small role on the CBS soap opera Search for Tomorrow, he played Dr. Paul Stewart No. 4 on another CBS soap opera, As the World Turns. He later replaced David Birney as Mark Elliott on yet another CBS show, Love is a Many Splendored Thing.

He later created the role of Frank Ryan on the ABC soap opera Ryan's Hope but was fired from the role at the end of the show's first year reportedly due to his alcoholism. He was asked back, but replaced with actor Andrew Robinson later that year. At the time she was cast in Ryan's Hope, Helen Gallagher, who played matriarch Maeve Ryan, taught singing in her home three times a week. Hawkins was one of her students.[7]

Hawkins was married to casting director Mary Jo Slater until their divorce in 1976; their only child is actor Christian Slater.[8]

In the mid-1990s in Los Angeles, Hawkins, using the name Michael D. Gainsborough, composed a wide range of songs of varied genres. This collection of songs hinged on the lyrics "Make Haste Slowly (Baby)" and were an example of his ability to compose "variations on a theme," much like the work of Italian Artist, Fornasetti. These compositions spanned such musical genres as country, hip-hop, funk and vaudeville.[citation needed]

Television appearances[edit]

Film appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Dillon, Nancy (February 24, 2016). "Christian Slater sued for allegedly ruining his dad's acting career". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  2. ^ "Thomas Knight Slater birth reference". FamilySearch.org. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  3. ^ Michael Hawkins page at IMDb; accessed August 18, 2014.
  4. ^ http://www.capecodtimes.com/article/19990910/Obits/309109981
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "For Michael Hawkins, Suddenly – Happy Days". Soap Opera People Magazine. September 1976.
  7. ^ Wilson, Earl (July 16, 1975). "Helen Gallagher Slips into Soaps". The Milwaukee Sentinel.
  8. ^ Andriakos, Jacqueline (June 11, 2015). "Christian Slater Opens Up About Reconnecting with His 'Manic-Depressive' Father: 'We Were Able to Begin to Build a Better Bridge for the Both of Us'". People. Retrieved June 11, 2015.

External links[edit]