|Type||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth|| 18 April 1933 |
|Death|| 13 December 2001 |
(aged 68 years)
Michael Bradshaw (18 April 1933 – 13 December 2001) was an English actor.
Early life in England
Born in Plumstead, London, he grew up Boxmoor, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire to the north west of London. He trained as a printer for most of his teen years at John Dickinson Stationery Limited, except for two years mandatory service in the British armed forces (“national service”) which he served in the Royal Air Force, stationed at RAF Ternhill near Market Drayton, Shropshire. During this time Bradshaw was working in non-professional theatre in his home town, having also been a talented boy soprano for his local church, St. John’s, Boxmoor, even going on local tours.
Bradshaw left England for Canada in 1956 where he flourished in theatre working with the Players’ Guild of Hamilton, Ontario and winning the Best Actor in the Dominion of Canada Award at the Dominion Drama Festival for his portrayal of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons. He also performed in the Shaw Festival during its early years, most notably in the 1966 production of “Misalliance” in which he played the pilot, Joey Percival.
He went on to the United States, first performing at area theatres in Buffalo, New York and then was cast in the first national touring company of Man of La Mancha with José Ferrer, which toured the U.S. for the better part of 1968. Bradshaw was on Broadway three times between the 1960s and 1970s including roles in Portrait of a Queen with Dame Dorothy Tutin and Barry England’s Conduct Unbecoming as Major Lionel Roach for which he nominated for a Tony Award.
In the 1970s he served as Production Stage Manager for the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri, and then retired for most of the 1980s, working again as a printer and focusing on his family.
In the late ’80s he began acting again, starting off small, appearing in community theatre and even directing several high school productions. Quickly he began appearing in smaller productions around the New England area, especially Boston where he worked extensively during the 1990s, most notably for the Lyric Stage Company Boston, Lyric West and Huntington Stage Company. He gained quite a reputation in the area, also performing for the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s 1997 performance of Romeo and Juliet in Boston Common. He worked in the first ever Boston Theater Marathon and in 1998 he was nominated for the prestigious Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actor in a Small Company.
It was around this time that he began to work in small roles in film, television and voice over work. He did the play by play voice over commentary for the Looking Glass Technologies British Open Championship Golf Computer Game in 1997, worked on the PBS documentary “Africans in America” appeared on “Unsolved Mysteries” among other programmes. He also did small roles or extra work in the films The Crucible (1996), “The Spanish Prisoner” (1997), “The Proposition” (1998) and “State and Main”(2000)
In the early 2000s he continued theatre work around the country having been in Nick Dear’s The Art of Success off Broadway in New York and in Tennessee Williams’ “The Night of the Iguana” at the Dallas Theater Center in Dallas, Texas. He was scheduled to take part in the Washington, D.C. premiere of The Invention of Love but due to illness was forced to withdraw, the first time he’d ever been forced to leave a production in his career. His illness was diagnosed as cancer, and it grew worse until he finally succumbed on 13 December 2001 in a Newton, New Jersey hospital.
- Patricia Stevenson: 1960-1970. Had one son, Jeff.
- Rosemary Harvey: 1970-1976. Had one son, Michael.
- Patricia Hitz: 1976 until his death in 2001. Had two sons, Joshua and Jonathan.