Michael Francis Gregson
27 January 1929
Poona, British India (now Pune, Maharashtra, India)
|Children||3; including Jessica Gregson|
|Relatives||Richard Gregson (brother)|
Natasha Gregson Wagner (niece)
Reginald Hanson (great-grandfather)
Julia Gregson (sister-in-law)
Michael Francis Gregson (born 27 January 1929), known professionally as Michael Craig, is a British actor and screenwriter, known for his work in theatre, film and television both in the United Kingdom and in Australia.
Craig was born in Poona, British India, the son of Donald Gregson, who served in the 3rd Indian Cavalry as a captain. He was the elder brother of film producer and screenwriter Richard Gregson.
Craig began his entertainment career in the theatre. His first job was as an assistant stage manager at the Castle Theatre, Farnham, England in 1950. His stage credits include A Whistle in the Dark (Apollo Theatre, 1961), Wars of the Roses (RSC at Stratford 1963–64), Funny Girl (with Barbra Streisand at the Prince of Wales Theatre 1966), Pinter's The Homecoming (Music Box Theatre, Broadway 1966–67) and the lead role in Trying in Australia in 2007 and at the Finborough Theatre, London, in 2009.
Craig made his film debut in a non-speaking part, as an uncredited extra in 1949. He was then talent-spotted at the Oxford Playhouse and gained his first speaking part in an uncredited role in Malta Story (1953). He gained his first credited role the following year in 1954, in The Embezzler Groomed as a star by the Rank Organisation, he appeared in a number of films, including Campbell's Kingdom (1957), Sea of Sand (1958), The Silent Enemy (1958), Sapphire (1959), Doctor in Love (1960), Cone of Silence (1960), Mysterious Island (1961), The Iron Maiden (1962), A Choice of Kings, Modesty Blaise (1966), Turkey Shoot (1982), Ride a Wild Pony (1975) and Appointment with Death (1988). He received a BAFTA Best actor nomination for his performance in Sea of Sand (1958). In October 1956, John Davis, managing director of Rank, announced him as one of the actors under contract that Davis thought would become an international star.
His television credits include Arthur of the Britons (1973), The Emigrants (1976), Rush (1976), The Danedyke Mystery (1979), The Professionals (1980), Shoestring (1980), The Timeless Land (1980), Triangle (1981–83), Tales of the Unexpected (1982), Robin of Sherwood (1986), Doctor Who (in the serial Terror of the Vervoids 1986), the Australian series G.P. (1989–95), Brides of Christ (1991), Grass Roots (2000) and Always Greener (2003). He was the subject of an hour-long interview on his life and career recorded for and broadcast on Talking Pictures TV in 2018.
Craig's scriptwriting credits include the ABC-TV trilogy The Fourth Wish (1974), which starred John Meillon in an award-winning performance as the father of a dying boy. Craig also wrote the screenplay for the feature film The Fourth Wish (1976), which was produced following the success of the television series. Alongside his co-writers, Richard Gregson (his brother) and Bryan Forbes, Craig was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay of The Angry Silence (1960).
Craig's first wife was Babette Collier. His second is the Australian actress Susan Walker. He is the father of Jessica Gregson; his brother was the film producer Richard Gregson and, because of Richard's marriage to Natalie Wood, Craig is an uncle of the actress Natasha Gregson Wagner. His autobiography, The Smallest Giant: An Actor's Life, was published in 2005.