Michael Sheard (18 June 1938 – 31 August 2005) was a Scottish character actor who featured in many films and television programmes, and was known for playing villains. His most prominent television role was as strict deputy headmaster Maurice Bronson in the children's series Grange Hill, which he played between 1985 and 1989. He appeared as Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back (1980).
Michael Lawson Perkins
18 June 1938
|Died||31 August 2005 67) (aged|
Isle of Wight, England
(m. 1961; his death 2005)
Sheard was born Michael Lawson Perkins in Aberdeen, Scotland, the son of Donald Marriot Perkins, a church minister. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and took his mother's maiden name as his stage name. 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) (for which he later recorded 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 U.S. and the UK.
Further to this, he had guest roles in Colditz (1972), On The Buses (1973), Cloud Burst (1974), Space: 1999 (1975), and, also in 1975, in the BBC's adaptation of the Lord Peter Wimsey story The Five Red Herrings. In 1978, he appeared in one episode ("Sleeping Partners", as the character Adderley) of 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.
He appeared as Imperial Navy Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), where George Lucas cited Ozzel's death by the force-choke stare by Darth Vader as his favourite movie death scene. Lucas told Sheard at the time that it was "the best screen death I've ever seen". Although Sheard initially regarded Star Wars as "just another part in a very busy actor's career", the role gained him wide recognition among fans and he appeared frequently Star Wars conventions while an Admiral Ozzel action figure was released.
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 of cancer on 31 August 2005, aged 67, at his home on the Isle of Wight, leaving his wife, Rosalind Moir, whom he married in 1961, and three children; two sons: Simon and Rupert and a daughter Susannah A few weeks earlier, on 9 August, he took part in a phone-in on LBCs Iain Lee show, and talked about his career in film and television.
- Toby Hadoke. "Obituary: Michael Sheard | Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- "Michael Sheard". The Telegraph. 1 September 2005. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- Hadoke, Toby (13 September 2005). "Michael Sheard". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media Limited. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
- "Grange Hill favourite Sheard dies". BBC News. BBC Entertainment. BBC. 31 August 2005. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
- "Film and TV Actor Dies After Battle With Cancer".