Michael White (producer)
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Michael White was born to Eastern European Jewish-immigrant parents in Glasgow, Scotland. His father ran a glove making business, whilst his mother became successful in property development and management. As White suffered from asthma as a boy, his parents decided he would be educated as a boarder at the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz in Switzerland from age 7, where he was the only boy who did not speak the French language. He then graduated from the Sorbonne in Paris.
White produced his first West End play, the London premiere of Jack Gelber's The Connection in 1961. Known for bringing the risqué to the stage his productions included Sleuth, Oh! Calcutta!, Two Gentlemen of Verona and the original Theatre Upstairs production of The Rocky Horror Show.
Concurrently, White produced films, including the film version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Monty Python and the Holy Grail (both 1975). Later, he was responsible for The Comic Strip Presents... with Peter Richardson, which began on the opening night of Channel 4 in 1982.
However, losses on films mounted, and after being conned out of hundreds of thousands of pounds in the early 2000s, he was declared bankrupt in 2005 after suffering a heart attack at the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles.
White's autobiography, Empty Seats, was published in 1985.
White's life story was the subject of the 2013 documentary film The Last Impresario, directed by Gracie Otto. The film made its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2013, where it was positively received by critics.
White was married twice. With his first wife, the 1960s model and designer Sarah Hillsdon (1965-1972), he had three children. With his second wife, Louise, an heiress 26 years his junior, he had a son. His ex-girlfriends included film director Lyndall Hobbs.
Selected theatrical productions
This list is incomplete, currently listing only White's most notable theatre works:
- Oh! Calcutta! (1970, West End)
- Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1973, West End)
- The Rocky Horror Show (1973, West End)
- Two Gentlemen of Verona (1973, West End)
- A Chorus Line (1976, West End)
- Annie (1978, West End)
- She Loves Me (1994, West End revival)
As producer or executive producer:
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974)
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
- Jabberwocky (1977)
- The Hound of the Baskervilles (1978)
- Going With The Wind (1981)
- My Dinner With Andre (1981)
- Polyester (1981)
- Shock Treatment (1981)
- Countryman (1982)
- Moonlighting (1982)
- Urgh! A Music War (1982)
- The Comic Strip Presents... (1982)
- Dead on Time (1983)
- Heat and Dust (1983)
- The Ploughman's Lunch (1983)
- Strangers Kiss (1983)
- The Supergrass (1985)
- High Season (1987)
- Eat the Rich (1987)
- White Mischief (1987)
- The Deceivers (1988)
- Nuns on the Run (1989)
- The Pope Must Die (1991)
- Robert's Movie (1994)
- Widows' Peak (1994)
- Enigma (2001)
Appearing as himself:
- The Last Impresario (2013)
- Coveney, Michael (9 March 2016). "Michael White obituary". The Guardioan. Retrieved 9 March 20126. Check date values in:
- Kennaway, Guy (5 October 2008). "Michael White's celebrity photo album". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Bygrave, Mike; Joan Goodman; John Fordham (1973). The Other Careers: earning a living in the arts and media. Wildwood House. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-7045-0052-5.
- Morley, Sheridan (1974). Theatre. Hutchinson. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-09-122290-1.
- Alan Travis (23 December 2000). "How two dames saved Oh! Calcutta!". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 February 2011.
- White, Michael (1984). Empty Seats (1st ed.). H.Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-11348-6. ISBN 0-241-11348-2.
- Oliver Pfeiffer, "Gracie Otto's The Last Impresario to premiere at London Film Festival", SBS.com.au, 10 September 2013.
- Cara Nash, "'The Last Impresario' to premiere at BFI London Film Festival", FilmInk.com.au, 5 September 2013.
- Charles Gant, "London Film Review: 'The Last Impresario'", Variety Magazine, 29 October 2013.
- Stephen Dalton, "The Last Impresario: London Review", The Hollywood Reporter, 13 October 2013.
- "Review: The Last Impresario", WizardRadio.co.uk, 14 October 2013.
- "Veteran British producer Michael White dies age 80". Reuters.com. Retrieved March 8, 2016.