Michael Sheard

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Michael Sheard
Sheard in 2003
Michael Lawson Perkins

(1938-06-18)18 June 1938
Aberdeen, Scotland
Died31 August 2005(2005-08-31) (aged 67)
Isle of Wight, England
Years active1962-2005
Rosalind Moir
(m. 1961)

Michael Sheard (born Michael Lawson Perkins; 18 June 1938 – 31 August 2005)[2] was a Scottish character actor who featured in many films and television programmes, and was known for playing villains. His most prominent television role was as strict deputy headmaster Maurice Bronson in the children's series Grange Hill, which he played between 1985 and 1989. He appeared as Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

Early life[edit]

Sheard was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, the son of Donald Marriot Perkins, a church minister. He was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School.[3] He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London[4] and took his mother's maiden name as his stage name. During his national service Sheard was a Royal Air Force aircraftman.


Sheard had a lengthy affiliation with science fiction, and appeared in six televised stories of the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who, appearing with the First Doctor in The Ark (1966), the Third Doctor in The Mind of Evil (1971), the Fourth Doctor in both Pyramids of Mars (1975) (for which he later recorded a DVD commentary) and The Invisible Enemy (1977), the Fifth Doctor in Castrovalva (1982) and the Seventh Doctor in Remembrance of the Daleks (1988).[5] He also worked with the Eighth Doctor in The Stones of Venice, a Doctor Who audio drama produced by Big Finish Productions.[6] He was a regular guest at both Doctor Who and Star Wars conventions over the years in the U.S. and the UK.[7][1]

Further to this, he had guest roles in Colditz (1972), On the Buses (1973), Cloud Burst (1974), Space: 1999 and the BBC's adaptation of the Lord Peter Wimsey story The Five Red Herrings (1975)[8] and as Dr. Arnold Anderson in Crown Court (1976).

In 1978, he appeared in one episode ("Sleeping Partners", as the character Adderley) of the television series All Creatures Great and Small.[9] Also in 1978 Sheard appeared as Merton, a forensics expert in an episode of the hard-hitting British police drama The Professionals, the episode entitled "When the Heat Cools Off".[8]

In 1980 he appeared as Federation officer Klegg in "Powerplay" in episode 2 of series 3 of Blakes 7. In 1983, he played Herr Grunwald, the German manager of a building site, in the first series of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.[1]

Sheard portrayed Adolf Hitler five times in his career: in Rogue Male (1976), The Tomorrow People (1978), The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission (1985), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and the documentary Secret History: Hitler of the Andes (2003).[10] He also portrayed Heinrich Himmler three times, in The Death of Adolf Hitler (1973), The Bunker (1981) and Space (1985). Although Sheard never played Hermann Göring, he did play Göring's double in the 'Allo 'Allo! episode Hitler's Last Heil.[11]

In 1980, he had a supporting role in Stephen Poliakoff's BBC television play Caught on a Train.[12]

He appeared as Imperial Navy Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back (1980), where George Lucas cited Ozzel's death by the force-choke stare by Darth Vader as his favourite movie death scene. Lucas told Sheard at the time that it was "the best screen death I've ever seen". Although Sheard initially regarded Star Wars as "just another part in a very busy actor's career", the role gained him wide recognition among fans and he appeared frequently at Star Wars conventions while an Admiral Ozzel action figure was released.[1][13]

In February 2005, he played a small cameo role as the narrator in Star Wars the UK fan film Order of the Sith: Vengeance and its sequel Downfall - Order of the Sith, alongside Jeremy Bulloch and David Prowse.[14] These British fan films were made in support of Save the Children.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Sheard died of cancer on 31 August 2005, aged 67, at his home on the Isle of Wight, leaving his wife, Rosalind Moir, whom he married in 1961, and three children; two sons: Simon and Rupert and a daughter Susannah[16]



  1. ^ a b c d Toby Hadoke. "Obituary: Michael Sheard | Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Michael Sheard". The Telegraph. 1 September 2005. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Michael Sheard". Press & Journal. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  4. ^ Michael Perkins - RADA
  5. ^ "BBC - Wiltshire - Films - Interview with Michael Sheard (Real Audio)". www.bbc.co.uk.
  6. ^ "The Stones of Venice | Doctor Who Reviews".
  7. ^ "Michael Sheard: Your reaction". 1 September 2005 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  8. ^ a b "Michael Sheard". www.aveleyman.com.
  9. ^ "Sleeping Partners (1978)". BFI. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021.
  10. ^ "Michael Sheard". BFI. Archived from the original on 5 May 2016.
  11. ^ "'Allo 'Allo! : Hitler's Last Heil (1992) - David Croft, Martin Dennis, John B. Hobbs | Cast and Crew | AllMovie" – via www.allmovie.com.
  12. ^ "Playhouse: Caught on a Train". 31 October 1980. p. 75 – via BBC Genome.
  13. ^ "Grange Hill favourite Sheard dies". BBC News. BBC Entertainment. BBC. 31 August 2005. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
  14. ^ "TheForce.Net - Fan Films - Order Of The Sith: Downfall". www.theforce.net.
  15. ^ "Star Wars' original Boba Fett actor Jeremy Bulloch dead at 75 from Parkinson's disease | | Express Digest".
  16. ^ "Film and TV Actor Dies After Battle With Cancer". Archived from the original on 29 August 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2016.


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