Michael Sheard (18 June 1938 â" 31 August 2005) was a Scottish actor who featured in a large number of films and television programmes and was best 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 1985â"89. His most prominent film role was that of Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
Sheard was born in Aberdeen, Scotland; the son of a church minister, 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), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission (1985) and Hitler of the Andes (2003). He has also portrayed Heinrich Himmler three times, in The Death of Adolf Hitler (1973), The Bunker (1981) and Space (1985). Although Sheard never played Hermann GÃ¶ring, he did play GÃ¶ring's double in the 'Allo 'Allo! episode Hitler's Last Heil.
In 1980, he had a major supporting role in Stephen Poliakoff's acclaimed BBC television play Caught on a Train.
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. He had been suffering from cancer. 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.
TV and Filmography
- 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 2001
- Yes, It's Photographic! published in 2004
- Michael Sheard at the Internet Movie Database
- Bio at Ancestry.com - shows birth year as 1938
- Obit from The Independent also shows birth year as 1938
- Obituary: The Guardian shows incorrect birth year