Michael Sheard Dies – Updated

The BBC has announced that popular character actor Michael Sheard, star of several Doctor Who stories, “The Empire Strikes Back” and of course popular school drama “Grange Hill”, has died, the BBC have reported a few moments ago:

Actor Michael Sheard, best known for playing teacher Mr Bronson in BBC One’s long-running children’s drama Grange Hill, has died aged 65.

His agent said he had been suffering from cancer and died at home on the Isle of Wight.

Sheard also had many movie roles, including the part of Admiral Ozzel in Star Wars film The Empire Strikes Back.

He also played Adolf Hitler five times, most famously in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.

Updated 1st September 2005

Tributes have flooded in on the BBC News site in response to the loss of character actor Michael Sheard who appeared in 6 Doctor Who stories between 1966 and 1988, as well as being famous for playing Mr Bronson in “Grange Hill” and Adolf Hitler in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”. He was a big hit on the convention circuit too, and it is platitudes of admiration for these moments in his career that he’ll be remembered for that are focussed on also in obituaries in the Daily Telegraph and The Independent.

The Telegraph article focusses on Sheard’s talent for playing “authoritarian roles”:

As Maurice Bronson, a bow-tie-wearing disciplinarian at a London comprehensive, he made his shout “You, boy!” one of the most familiar lines on television in the 1980s; and gradually, as the part developed, Bronson’s dedication to standards and his occasional kindnesses won a reluctant yet warm sympathy from audiences.

This popularity, Sheard would suggest, was due to everyone’s retaining the memory of a scary figure from their schooldays; in his own case it was a chalk-throwing “Mr Porter”.

Meanwhile The Independent confirms Sheard’s his date of birth and place of death:

Michael Lawson Sheard, actor: born Aberdeen 18 June 1938; married 1961 Rosalind Moir (two sons, one daughter); died Newport, Isle of Wight 31 August 2005.

Christian Cawley

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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