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Michael York

Michael York 1999.jpg
York in 1999
Michael Hugh Johnson

(1942-03-27) 27 March 1942 (age 81)
Fulmer, Buckinghamshire, England
Education Bromley Grammar School for Boys, Hurstpierpoint College
Alma mater University College, Oxford
Occupation Actor
Years active 1964–present
Patricia McCallum
(m. 1968)
Relatives Rick McCallum (stepson)

Michael York OBE (born Michael Hugh Johnson; 27 March 1942) is an English film, television and stage actor. After performing on-stage with the Royal National Theatre, he had a breakthrough in films by playing Tybalt in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet (1968). His "blond, blue-eyed boyish looks and English upper social class demeanor saw him play leading roles in several major British and Hollywood films of the 1970s. His best known roles include Konrad Ludwig in Something for Everyone (1970), Geoffrey Richter-Douglas in Zeppelin (1971), Brian Roberts in Cabaret (1972), George Conway in Lost Horizon (1973), D'Artagnan in The Three Musketeers (also 1973) and its two sequels, Count Andrenyi in Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Logan 5 in Logan's Run (1976).

In his later career he found success as Basil Exposition in the Austin Powers film series (1997–2002). He is a two-time Emmy Award nominee, for the ABC Afterschool Special: Are You My Mother? (1986) and the AMC series The Lot (2001).

In 2002, he received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to motion pictures.

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 businessman. 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.

During his teenage years, York was educated at Bromley Grammar School for Boys, Hurstpierpoint College and University College, Oxford. He did some early acting at the community theatre Bromley Little Theatre and is now its president. This then led to his joining the National Youth Theatre, also performing with the Oxford University Dramatic Society and the University College Players. 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.


Prior to graduating with a degree in English from the University of Oxford in 1964, York had toured with the National Youth Theatre, 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. 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.

Michael York Allan Warren
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.

In 2002, he received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to motion pictures. 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". ..... 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. 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.

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.

Health issues

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

In 2022, York and his wife moved to Rochester, Minnesota, to be closer to the Mayo Clinic Hospital for treatment.



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
1986 Dawn John Dawson
1987 Lethal Obsession Dr. Proper
1988 Phantom of Death Robert Dominici
Midnight Cop 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
A Young Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court Merlin
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 ... 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)
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)
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
Quixote Don Quixote (voice) Short film
Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes (voice)
The Justice of Wolves Mika
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 (voice) Episode: "Hawk and Dove"
2004 Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! Master Zan (voice) 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 (voice) Episode: "London Calling"
2008 Four Seasons Stephen Combe Miniseries
2008 Ben 10: Alien Force Patrick (voice) Episode: "Be-Knighted"
2009 Star Wars: The Clone Wars Dr. Nuvo Vindi (voice) 2 episodes
2010 How I Met Your Mother Jefferson Van Smoot Episode: "Robots Versus Wrestlers"
2010 Family Guy Documentary Speaker (voice) 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


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Also available in other editions

Other works

  • York wrote about his experience with Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 in Dispatches from Armageddon. 2001, Smith & Kraus. ISBN: 978-1-5752-5311-4.
  • York is also the co-author, with director Adrian Brine, of A Shakespearean Actor Prepares. 2000, Smith & Kraus. ISBN: 978-0-7394-1178-0.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
1970 Laurel Awards Golden Laurel - Male New face Romeo and Juliet Nominated
1978 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films Best Actor The Island of Dr. Moreau Nominated
1986 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Performer in Children's Programming ABC Afterschool Special episode Are You My Mother? Nominated
2000 Temecula Valley International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Outstanding TV/Film career Won
2001 DVD Exclusive Awards Best Animated Character Performance The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire (voice) Nominated
2001 53rd Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series The Lot Nominated
2002 Hollywood Walk of Fame Motion Picture Star Outstanding Film career Won
2002 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Town of Karlovy Vary Award Outstanding TV/Film career Won
2009 14th Satellite Awards Mary Pickford Award Veteran Actor Outstanding TV/Film career Won
2011 Transilvania International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Outstanding TV/Film career Won

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Michael York para niños

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