Michael Billington (actor)

Michael Billington (24 December 1941 – 3 June 2005) was a British film and television actor. He was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, England.

Michael Billington
Born(1941-12-24)24 December 1941
Blackburn, Lancashire, England
Died3 June 2005(2005-06-03) (aged 63)

Career

Television

In 1966 Billington appeared in Incident at Vichy at the Phoenix Theatre in London but was best known for his role as Colonel Paul Foster in the 1970 science fiction TV series, UFO, and for creating the character of Daniel Fogarty from 1971 to 1974 in the historical drama, The Onedin Line. He also appeared as Sergeant Jacko Jackson of the Royal Wessex Rangers in the series Spearhead and as Czar Nicholas II in the ITV drama series Edward the Seventh (1975). He played gangster John Coogan in one episode of The Professionals (TV Series) (The Rack, S2 EP2 1978).

Billington moved to America from around 1979 to 1985. Although he had some good roles, notably as Count Louis Dardinay in The Quest (1982), he did not reach the same level of success as he had in Britain. Billington's last major TV role came in the 1986 BBC drama The Collectors, but his final appearance was in an episode of early 1990s TV series Maigret as a villain.

Film

Billington was screen-tested for the role of James Bond more than any other actor and was said to have been Albert R. Broccoli's first choice had Roger Moore not been available (see: 1981's For Your Eyes Only). He met director Peter Hunt and did a photo shoot for On Her Majesty's Secret Service.[1] He was also screen-tested for Live and Let Die (1973), Moonraker (1979), and Octopussy (1983). Billington ultimately appeared in 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me, playing Sergei Barsov, Agent XXX's ill-fated lover, at the start of the film. His other film credits included Alfred the Great (1969) and KGB: The Secret War (1985).

Personal life

Billington died of cancer at the age of 63,[2] five days before his fellow UFO actor Ed Bishop.[3]

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1965Dream A40Young Man
1969Alfred the GreatOffa
1974ShadoPaul Foster
1970-1973UFOCol. Paul FosterTV Series, 21 episodes
1974Invasion: UFO
1977The Spy Who Loved MeSergei Barsov
1985KGB: The Secret WarPeter Hubbard
1987FlicksDeputy Inspector(segment 'Whodunit')

References

  1. Michael Billington Interview TV Zone issue#21 (May 1996)
  2. McGillivray, David (29 June 2005). "Michael Billington". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  3. Mateo (10 June 2005). ""UFO" Stars Ed Bishop and Michael Billington Have Died". MetaFilter. Retrieved 31 December 2018.


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