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Sheard in Escape to Athena.
18 June 1938|
|Died||31 August 2005
Isle of Wight, England
|Cause of death||Cancer|
Michael Sheard (18 June 1938 – 31 August 2005) was a Scottish character actor who featured in a large number of films and television programmes and was known for playing villains. His most prominent television role was as strict deputy headmaster Maurice Bronson in the British children's series Grange Hill which he played from 1985–89. He appeared as Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
Sheard was born Michael Perkins in Aberdeen, Scotland; the son of a church minister, Donald Perkins, and was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. During his national service, Sheard was a Royal Air Force aircraftman.
Sheard had a lengthy affiliation with science fiction, and appeared in six televised stories of the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, appearing with the First Doctor in The Ark (1966), the Third Doctor in The Mind of Evil (1971), the Fourth Doctor in both Pyramids of Mars (1975) (later recording a DVD commentary) and The Invisible Enemy (1977), the Fifth Doctor in Castrovalva (1982) and the Seventh Doctor in Remembrance of the Daleks (1988). He also worked with the Eighth Doctor in The Stones of Venice, a Doctor Who audio drama produced by Big Finish Productions. He was a regular guest at both Doctor Who and Star Wars conventions over the years in the UK and the U.S.
Further to this, he had guest roles in Colditz (1972), On The Buses (1973), Space: 1999 (1975). In 1978, he appeared in one episode ("Sleeping Partners", as the character Adderley) in the television series All Creatures Great and Small. In 1983, he played "Herr Grunwald", the German manager of a building site in the first series of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.
Sheard portrayed Adolf Hitler five times in his career, in Rogue Male (1976), The Tomorrow People (1978), The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission (1985), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and the documentary Secret History: Hitler of the Andes (2003). He also portrayed Heinrich Himmler three times, in The Death of Adolf Hitler (1973), The Bunker (1981) and Space (1985). Although Sheard never played Hermann Göring, he did play Göring's double in the 'Allo 'Allo! episode Hitler's Last Heil.
In February 2005 he played a small cameo role as the narrator in Star Wars fan film Order of the Sith: Vengeance and its sequel Downfall - Order of the Sith - alongside Jeremy Bulloch and David Prowse. These fan films were made in England in support of Save the Children.
Sheard died on 31 August 2005, aged 67, at his home on the Isle of Wight, after suffering from cancer, leaving his wife, Rosalind Moir, who he married in 1961, and three children. A few weeks previously, on 9 August, he appeared via telephone on the Iain Lee show on LBC and talked about his career in film and television.
- Yes, Mr Bronson: Memoirs of a Bum Actor (ISBN 1-84024-007-5) published in 1997
- Yes, Admiral (ISBN 1-84024-103-9) published in 1999
- Yes, School's Out! (ISBN 90-76953-42-2) published in 2001
- Yes, It's Photographic! published in 2004