Michael York Biography

Michael York photo

Born: March 27, 1942


Birth Name: Michael York-Johnson

Date of Birth: March 27, 1942

British-born actor Michael York was an only child raised in Buckinghamshire, where he started working on stage with the National Youth Theatre. Following grammar school, York moved to Oxford where he attended the University and achieved his BA, majoring in English. During his studies, he joined the Oxford University Dramatic Society where he performed numerous plays.

In 1965, a year after graduating, York joined the National Theatre Company in London where he worked on productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Armstrong's Last Goodnight, Trelawney of the Wells, and Any Just Cause. The work led to his first film credit playing Lucentio in Taming of the Shrew (1966), followed by a breakthrough role as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet (1968), Brian Roberts in Cabaret (1972), Count Andrenyi in Murder on the Orient Express (1974), D'Artagnan in several Musketeers films and Logan 5 in Logan's Run (1976).

Work on the small screen also started early in his career. Though he has spent most of his career on feature work, he did work on the occasional mini-series Jesus of Nazareth playing John the Baptist, A Man Called Intrepid and Till We Meet Again, as well as telefilms like Much Ado About Nothing, The Phantom of the Opera, and voicing characters for David Copperfield and The Magic Flute. He also worked on the prime time soap opera Knots Landing where he played Charles Scott from 1987-88.

Though finding work has never been a problem for York, his mainstream profile faded with the influx of next generation actors and viewers. But in the late 90's York's image was renewed thanks in part to his portrayal of the head of British Intelligence in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) and its sequels.

York has been married to photographer Patricia McCallum, whom he met while filming the film Smashing Time (1967), since 1968. A recipient of the O.B.E. (Officer of the British Empire), York wrote and published his autobiography The Travelling Player in 1991.

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