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Michael York

Michael York 1999.jpg
York in 1999
Michael Hugh Johnson

(1942-03-27) 27 March 1942 (age 80)
EducationBromley Grammar School for Boys, Hurstpierpoint College
Alma materUniversity College, Oxford
Years active1964–present
Patricia McCallum
(m. 1968)
RelativesRick McCallum (stepson)

Michael York OBE (born Michael Hugh Johnson; 27 March 1942) is an English film, television, and stage actor. A two-time Emmy Award nominee, for the ABC Afterschool Special: Are You My Mother? (1986) and the AMC series The Lot (2001), he has appeared in more than 70 films, including Romeo and Juliet (1968), Cabaret (1972), The Three Musketeers (1973), Logan's Run (1976), and the Austin Powers film series (1997–2002).

Early life

York was born in Fulmer, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire, son of Florence Edith May Chown, a musician, and Joseph Gwynne Johnson, a Llandovery-born Welsh ex-Royal Artillery British Army officer and executive with Marks & Spencer department stores.[1] York has an elder sister, Penelope Anne (born 1940) and younger twin sisters, Caroline and Bridget (born 1947); Bridget died a few hours after birth, according to his autobiography. He was brought up in Burgess Hill, Sussex.[2]

During his teenage years, York was educated at Bromley Grammar School for Boys,[3] Hurstpierpoint College and University College, Oxford.

He did some early acting at the community theatre Bromley Little Theatre and is now its president.[3] This then led to his joining the National Youth Theatre. He began his career in a 1956 production of The Yellow Jacket. In 1959 he made his West End début with a small part in a production of Hamlet.


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Prior to graduating with a degree in English from the University of Oxford in 1964, York had toured with the National Youth Theatre, also performing with the Oxford University Dramatic Society and the University College Players. After some time with the Dundee Repertory Theatre, where he played in Brendan Behan's The Hostage, York joined National Theatre under Laurence Olivier where he worked with Franco Zeffirelli during the 1965 staging of Much Ado About Nothing. Following his role on British TV as Jolyon (Jolly) in The Forsyte Saga (1967), York made his film debut as Lucentio in Zeffirelli's The Taming of the Shrew (1967). He then was cast as Tybalt in Zeffirelli's 1968 film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. He starred in The Guru (1969), then played an amoral bisexual drifter in Something for Everyone (1970). In the 1971 film Zeppelin, he portrayed a World War I soldier with conflicted family loyalties who pretends to side with the Germans. He portrayed the bisexual Brian Roberts in Bob Fosse's film version of Cabaret (1972). In 1975, he portrayed a British soldier in 19th century colonial India in Conduct Unbecoming, the first of three movies he did with director Michael Anderson. In 1977, he reunited with Franco Zeffirelli as John the Baptist in Jesus of Nazareth.

York starred as D'Artagnan in the 1973 adaptation of The Three Musketeers and he made his Broadway début in the original production of Tennessee Williams's Out Cry. One year later the sequel to The Three Musketeers was released (roughly covering events in the second half of the book) titled The Four Musketeers.[4] Fifteen years later, most of the cast (and crew) joined together in a third film titled The Return of the Musketeers based on the Dumas novel Twenty Years After. He played the title character in the film adaptation of Logan's Run (1976), a fugitive who tries to escape a computer-controlled society. The following year, he starred in The Island of Dr. Moreau opposite Burt Lancaster.[citation needed]

York in 1986
York in 1986

Since his auspicious early work, York has enjoyed a busy and varied career in film, television and on the stage. He appeared in two episodes in the second season of the Road to Avonlea series as Ezekiel Crane, the lighthouse keeper of Avonlea and foster father of Gus Pike. His Broadway theatre credits include Bent (1980), The Crucible (1992), Someone Who'll Watch Over Me (1993) and the ill-fated musical The Little Prince and the Aviator (1982), which closed during previews. He also has made many sound recordings as a reader, including Harper Audio's production of C. S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

York appeared in the 1996 Babylon 5 episode "A Late Delivery from Avalon" as a delusional man who believed himself to be King Arthur returned. Two years later he would play King Arthur in A Knight in Camelot. He also appeared as Professor Asher Fleming, a 60-year-old Yale professor and boyfriend of Yale student Paris Geller (Liza Weil) during the fourth season of Gilmore Girls. He performed the voice of the character Dr. Montague Kane in the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Zatanna", as well as Kanto in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Tools of the Trade" and Ares in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Hawk & Dove". York starred in both The Omega Code and its sequel, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, as Stone Alexander, the Antichrist from Christian eschatology.

He played President Alexander Bourne of Macaronesia on seaQuest 2032. He played Basil Exposition in all three of the Austin Powers films. He has made an appearance on The Simpsons as Mason Fairbanks, Homer Simpson's possible father, in "Homer's Paternity Coot". In 2006, York played the character Bernard Fremont (inspired by real life serial killer Charles Sobhraj) in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Slither". He also appeared as a fictionalised version of himself in several episodes of the third season of Curb Your Enthusiasm as an investor in Larry's new restaurant 'BoBo's. In 2009, he lent his voice to Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

York voiced Petrie's uncle Pterano in The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire. In 2009, he narrated the entire Bible for The Word of Promise Audio Bible, a star-studded, performance of the New King James Version.[5] York again played King Arthur in a revival of Lerner and Loewe's Camelot, which began its run at the La Mirada Theatre in Southern California, and toured nationally in 2006 and 2007.

York portrays Luke in The Truth & Life Dramatised Audio New Testament Bible, a 22-hour audio dramatisation of the New Testament, which uses the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition translation. In 2008, York took part in the BBC Wales programme Coming Home about his Welsh family history. In September 2013, York played Albany in the Gala Performance of William Shakespeare's King Lear at the Old Vic in London.[6]

Personal life

York met photographer Patricia McCallum in 1967 when she was assigned to photograph him, and they married on 27 March 1968, York's 26th birthday. His stepson is Star Wars producer Rick McCallum. York was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame in 1977.[7]

External video
video icon Michael York Speaks at The National Press Club on amyloidosis, 4:00-60:00, 12 August 2016, National Press Club[8]


In 2013, York announced he was suffering from the rare disease called amyloidosis.[9] Doctors initially thought he had bone cancer.[10] In 2012, he underwent a stem cell transplant, which can alleviate symptoms.[11]

York and his wife currently reside in Rochester, Minnesota.[12][13]



Year Title Role Notes
1967 The Taming of the Shrew Lucentio
Confessions of Loving Couples Peter
Accident William
Red and Blue Acrobat Short film
Smashing Time Tom Wabe
1968 Separation Himself Uncredited
Romeo and Juliet Tybalt
The Strange Affair Peter Strange
1969 The Guru Tom Pickle
Alfred the Great Guthrum
Justine Darley
1970 Something for Everyone Konrad Ludwig
1971 Zeppelin Geoffrey Richter-Douglas
Touch and Go [fr] Basil
1972 Cabaret Brian Roberts
1973 Lost Horizon George Conway
England Made Me Anthony Farrant
The Three Musketeers D'Artagnan
1974 The Four Musketeers D'Artagnan
Great Expectations Pip
Murder on the Orient Express Count Rudolf Andrenyi
1975 Conduct Unbecoming Lieutenant Arthur Drake
1976 Logan's Run Logan 5
Seven Nights in Japan Prince George
1977 The Island of Dr. Moreau Andrew Braddock
The Last Remake of Beau Geste Beau Geste
1978 Fedora Himself
1979 The Riddle of the Sands Charles Carruthers
1980 Final Assignment Lyosha Petrov
1981 The White Lions Chris McBride
1983 For Those I Loved Martin Gray
1984 Success Is the Best Revenge Alex Rodak
1985 British Rock: The First Wave Documentary film
1986 Dawn John Dawson
1987 Lethal Obsession Dr. Proper
1988 Phantom of Death Robert Dominici
1988 Killing Blue [de] Karstens
1989 The Return of the Musketeers D'Artagnan
1990 Come See the Paradise Dance Hall Band
1991 Eline Vere Lawrence St. Clare
1992 The Long Shadow Gabor Romandy
1993 Wide Sargasso Sea Paul Mason
1994 Discretion Assured Trevor McCabe
1995 Gospa Milan Vukovic
1995 A Young Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Merlin [14]
1995 Not of This Earth Paul Johnson
1997 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Basil Exposition
Goodbye America Senator Bladon
Dark Planet Capt. Winter
The Long Way Home Narrator (voice) Documentary film
A Christmas Carol Bob Cratchit (voice)
1998 Merchants of Venus Alex Jakoff
Wrongfully Accused Hibbing Goodhue
54 Ambassador
The Treat Simon
Lovers & Liars Dick Bunche
One Hell of a Guy Devil
1999 Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me Basil Exposition
Puss in Boots Puss in Boots (voice)
The Omega Code Stone Alexander
The Haunting of Hell House Professor Ambrose
2000 The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire Pterano (voice) Direct-to-video
Borstal Boy Joyce
A Monkey's Tale The Lankoo King (voice)
2001 Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 Stone Alexander / Satan
2002 Austin Powers in Goldmember Basil Exposition
A Very Merry Pooh Year Narrator (voice) Direct-to-video
2004 Moscow Heat Roger Chambers
2007 Flatland: The Movie Spherius (voice)
2008 Testimony: The Untold Story of Pope John Paul II Narrator (voice) Documentary film
2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Prime #1 (voice)
2010 Pravosudiye Volkov Mikhail Polyakov
2010 Quixote Don Quixote
Short film
2010 Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes (voice) Direct-to-video
2010 The Justice of Wolves Mika
2010 Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey Core (voice)
2011 The Mill and the Cross Nicolaes Jonghelinck
2011 Glad Christmas Tidings Narrator (voice)
2012 Flatland 2: Sphereland Spherius (voice)
2014 Sleeping Beauty Narrator (voice)


Year Title Role Notes
1964 Arrest and Trial Pete Bakalyan Episode: "A Circle of Strangers"
1966 The Wild Wild West Gupta Episode 2: “The Night of the Golden Cobra”
1967 Death Valley Days Haynie Episode: "The Man Who Wouldn't Die"
1967 The Forsyte Saga Jolyon "Jolly" Forsyte
1968 The Wednesday Play Roger Porlock Episode: "Rebel in the Grave"
1974 Great Expectations Pip TV film
1977 Jesus of Nazareth John the Baptist Miniseries
1977 BBC2 Play of the Week: True Patriot Dietrich Bonhoeffer TV film
1978 Much Ado About Nothing Benedick TV film
1979 A Man Called Intrepid Evan Michaelian Miniseries
1981 Vendredi ou la Vie Sauvage Robinson Crusoe TV film
1982 Twilight Theater TV film
1983 The Phantom of the Opera Michael Hartnell TV film
1983 The Weather in the Streets Rollo Spencer TV film
1984 The Master of Ballantrae James Durie TV film
1985 Space Dieter Kolff Miniseries
1986 ABC Afterschool Special Chet Gordon Episode: "Are You My Mother?"
1986 The Storybook Series with Hayley Mills Beast
1986 Tall Tales & Legends Ponce de Leon Episode: "Ponde de Leon"
1986 Sword of Gideon Robert TV film
1986 Dark Mansions Jason Drake TV film
1986 Nevil Shute's The Far Country Carl Zlinter TV film
1987 The Far Country George Miller 2 episodes
1987–1988 Knots Landing Charles Scott 8 episodes
1988 The Secret of the Sahara Desmond Jordan Miniseries
1988 The Four Minute Mile Franz Stampfl Miniseries
1989 The Lady and the Highwayman King Charles II TV film
1989 Judith Krantz's Till We Meet Again Paul de Lancel Miniseries
1990 The Heat of the Day Robert Kelway TV film
1990 Night of the Fox Field Marshal Rommel TV film
1991 Road to Avonlea Ezekiel Crane 2 episodes
1991 Duel of Hearts Gervaise Warlingham TV film
1992 The Legend of Prince Valiant Owen
3 episodes
1992–1993 Batman: The Animated Series Count Vertigo,
Montague Kane
2 episodes
1993 Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn Narrator
TV documentary film
1993 Tracey Ullman Takes on New York Central Park Acquaintance Comedy Special
1994 TekWar Prince Richard 1 episode
1994 ABC Weekend Special King Sarastro Episode: "The Magic Flute"
1994 Fall from Grace Hans-Dieter Stromelburg TV film
1994 Rochade Paul Grumbach TV film
1995 Shadow of a Kiss Albert TV film
1995–1996 seaQuest DSV President Alexander Bourne 3 episodes
1995 The Naked Truth Leland Banks Episode: "Woman Jokes While Husband Cooks!"
1995 The Magic School Bus Harry Herp
Episode: "Cold Feet"
1996 La Nouvelle tribu Ilya Miniseries
1996 September Edmund TV film
1996 The Ring Walmar von Gotthard TV film
1996 Babylon 5 David "King Arthur" McIntyre Episode: "A Late Delivery from Avalon"
1996 Adventures from the Book of Virtues Androcles / The Priest
Episode: "Compassion"
1996 Un coup de baguette magique Ilya TV film
1997 Superman: The Animated Series Kanto
Episode: "Tools of the Trade"
1997 Sliders Dr. Vargas Episode: "This Slide of Paradise"
1997 True Women Lewis Lawshe Miniseries
1997 The Ripper Sir Charles Warren TV film
1998 Dead Man's Gun Herr Friederich Von Huber Episode: "The Collector"
1998 Glory, Glory Rev. Hopewell Pilot
1998 A Knight in Camelot King Arthur TV film
1998 Perfect Little Angels Dr. Calvin Lawrence TV film
1998 Search for Nazi Gold Narrator TV documentary
2000 Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton TV documentary film
2001 The Lot Colin Rhome 2 episodes
2002 Liberty's Kids Admiral
Lord Howe

2 episodes
2002 Presidio Med George Slingerland Episode: "Secrets"
2002 Founding Brothers Alexander Hamilton TV documentary film
2002 Curb Your Enthusiasm Himself 4 episodes
2003 La Femme Musketeer Jacques D'Artagnan TV film
2003–2004 Gilmore Girls Professor Asher Fleming 4 episodes
2004 Crusader McGovern TV film
2004 Justice League Unlimited Ares
Episode: "Hawk and Dove"
2004 Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! Master Zan
Episode: "Antauri's Masters"
2005 Icon Nigel Irvine TV film
2006, 2016-2020 The Simpsons Mason Fairbanks,
Dr. Lionel Budgie,
4 episodes
2006 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Bernard Fremont Episode: "Slither"
2007 The Replacements Agent G
Episode: "London Calling"
2008 Four Seasons Stephen Combe Miniseries
2008 Ben 10: Alien Force Patrick
Episode: "Be-Knighted"
2009 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Dr. Nuvo Vindi
2 episodes
2010 How I Met Your Mother Jefferson Van Smoot Episode: "Robots Versus Wrestlers"
2010 Family Guy Documentary Speaker
Episode: "Partial Terms of Endearment"

Video games

Year Title Voice role Notes
1998 Die by the Sword Instructor
1998 Tex Murphy: Overseer J. Saint Gideon


Also available in other editions

Other works


  1. ^ "Michael York profile at". Retrieved 5 June 2009.
  2. ^ "Michael York from Chris & Don: A Love Story". Retrieved 28 June 2009.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Hollywood icon Michael York talks about acting, illness and Bromley Little Theatre's fight for survival". News Shopper. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
  4. ^ "At-A-Glance Film Reviews: The Three Musketeers (1973)". Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  5. ^ Groves, Martha (16 November 2009) Stars lined up for elaborate audio Bible : Michael York, Jason Alexander and many others gave voice to a 79-CD reading of Old and New Testaments Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 July 2016
  6. ^ Bookings Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 4 November 2014.
  7. ^ Profile Archived 1 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine; accessed 4 November 2014.
  8. ^ "National Press Club Luncheon with Michael York, August 12, 2016". National Press Club. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  9. ^ Walker, Tim (27 April 2013). "Cabaret star Michael York's secret battle against killer illness". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  10. ^ "Michael York has blood disorder". 3 News NZ. 30 April 2013. Archived from the original on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  11. ^ Bosley, Sarah (21 October 2013). "Michael York's battle with amyloidosis". The Guardian.
  12. ^ "Michael York, Now Living in Minnesota, Lists L.A. Home for $7M". Hollywood Reporter. 16 January 2022.
  13. ^ "From Hollywood to Rochester: Actor Michael York moves to be closer to Mayo Clinic". Post-Bulletin. 11 January 2022.
  14. ^ A Young Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, retrieved 16 June 2020