Hollywood icon Michael York talks about acting, illness and Bromley Little Theatre's fight for survival
British acting legend and former Bromley resident Michael York began his career treading the boards at the Bromley Little Theatre (BLT).
Last week he returned for the first time in decades, speaking to PATRICK GRAFTON-GREEN about his youth, career, a recent bout of ill health and the theatre’s uncertain future.
Michael York’s CV speaks for itself. Boasting the likes of Cabaret, Logan’s Run, Romeo and Juliet, The Three Musketeers, Murder on the Orient Express and Austin Powers – not to mention his theatre work – he’s enjoyed fantastic success.
Sitting on the stage at Bromley Little Theatre – a quaint community playhouse in North Street, of which York is president – he makes engaging and charming company.(Read full story in UK Newsshopper)
Interview on Great Day Houston
Review of King Lear
Arguably the greatest play in our language, The Old Vic staged a rehearsed reading of King Lear, last Sunday.Directed by Jonathan Miller,an all star cast took to the stage for a charity gala in support of Motor Neurone Disease.
Joss Ackland, now in his eighties, with white flowing hair and beard, epitomised a quintessential ageing Lear.
This formidable cast, including Tony Britton, Michael York, Felicity Dean,John Nettles, Tony Robinson, Shaun Dooley, Barrie Rutter , Honeysuckle Weeks, Greta Scacchi and Tam Williams filled the Old Vic Theatre.
Yet despite the scale and grandeur of the event, the death of Cordelia stilled this nine hundred plus audience to utter silence. A testament to the quality and superb acting of this distinguished company.
My Fair Lady at the Granada Theatre: Star-Studded Cast Sings Lerner and Loewe
... As his best friend and co-conspirator, Colonel Hugh Pickering, Michael York was also splendid, and together this pair of supremely gifted and experienced actors sounded all the many rich notes of influence in the show’s clever book: Gilbert and Sullivan, of course, but also Cole Porter and Noël Coward. (Read the full review...)
Click on the photo to see the entire historic panoramic photograph.
To celebrate its 100th birthday, Paramount Pictures assembled more than a hundred of the most influential talents ever to work at the studio — including Meryl Streep, Ali McGraw, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Nicholson, Jane Fonda, and Michael York — for a once-in-a-lifetime photo shoot...
Click here to watch the video of the Vanity Fair photo shoot.
“This is more exciting than winning the Academy Award!” Liza Minnelli told the crowd that had gathered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre last night for the unveiling of the newly restored Cabaret.
Co-hosted by Vanity Fair, the event kicked off this year’s Turner Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. Before the curtains parted to the strains of the “Willkommen” drum roll, however, Minnelli was joined by co-star Michael York and the Master of Ceremonies himself, Joel Grey, to recall a few memories of the making of Bob Fosse’s eight-time Oscar-winning musical. (Read more on the Vanity Fair website)
Review: 'Mary Pickford: The Muse Of The Movies' An Adoring Look At America's Sweetheart
What does it mean to be on the A-list? In addition to being a box office draw, which is a must, those within that rareified air can often call the shots creatively on their own movies, command a high salary and even develop their own projects. But while she's primarily remembered now as "America's sweetheart" or "The girl with curls," few actors then or now have had the popularity, power and influence of silent film star Mary Pickford. One of early cinema's hugest box office draws, an innovator in film acting, a founder of a major studio and a pop culture icon whose image still resonates to this day, Nicholas Eliopoulos' "Mary Pickford: Muse Of The Movies" is a loving tribute and expansive look at Pickford's life, loves and career.
The masterstroke of this documentary that sets it apart from your standard clip montage intercut with talking heads and voiceover narration, is that the arc of the film uses rare archival audio interviews with Pickford herself to help drive the film. Thus, with the assistance of the majestic voice of Michael York who helps steer the ship and fill in the gaps, 'Muse Of The Movies' is enhanced by Pickford's own personal insight, which brings a depth to the structure that follows the usual path of tracking her rise from her early days as just another actress to the height of her career as a studio head, Oscar winner and bonafide legend. (Read more on the indiewire.com website)
The Mill and the Cross: A PIECE OF ART UNTO ITSELF
The Mill and the Cross is a 2011 drama film directed by Lech Majewski and starring Rutger Hauer, Charlotte Rampling and Michael York.
An investigation into Pieter Bruegel the Elder's painting "The Way to Calvary," Majewski's film is a stunning piece of art in its own right.
At once a look at an artist's process, a close examination of an individual work of art, and a history lesson, its rigor will make it a hard sell beyond a core audience of art lovers, but its magnificent images demand to be seen on the big screen.
(Read the full review on the BoxOffice.com website)
Yeah, Baby: Brit Actor Michael York Making Beautiful Music in Portland?
YORK TOWN: Younger viewers miight remember him as "Basil Exposition" in all thoseAustin Powers movies.
Austin Powers: Only two things scare me and one of them is nuclear war.
Basil Exposition: What's the other?
Austin Powers: Excuse me?
Basil Exposition: What's the other thing that scares you?
Austin Powers: Carnies. Circus folk. Nomads, you know. Smell like cabbage. Small hands.
But I will always remember actor Michael York as that dude from the 70's sci-fi classicLogan's Run and as the sweet cherry that Liza Minnelli popped in her mouth in the film version of the musical Cabaret.
What I didn't know about this legendary actor is that he is also a recording artist. And that he does that recording in Portland, Oregon. (Originally posted on the ByronBeck website)
From the Shakespear Authorship Coalition
Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 21, 2011 — Amidst all the controversy surrounding Sony Pictures’ recently-released feature film Anonymous, actor and author Michael York, O.B.E., launched a powerful, multi-pronged counter-offensive against the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) in Stratford-upon-Avon, and its “60 Minutes with Shakespeare” authorship campaign, initiated in response to the film. York also announced a monumental breakthrough in the Shakespeare Authorship Controversy — detailed evidence that William Shakespeare traveled all over Italy. The problem for orthodox Shakespeare scholars is that the Stratford man never left England.
During a briefing at the LA Press Club’s Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, Michael York, Hilary Roe Metternich, daughter of the man who discovered the new evidence, and John M. Shahan, Chairman & CEO of the California-based Shakespeare Authorship Coalition (SAC), lambasted the SBT for its Orwellian attacks against doubters and for the inferior scholarship in its “60 Minutes with Shakespeare” website, which features 60 prominent SBT supporters, each giving a 60-second audio-recorded response to one of 60 questions posed by the SBT.
Michael York, in language echoing that which brought down Senator Joseph McCarthy, castigated Stanley Wells, Honorary President of the SBT, and Paul Edmondson, Head of Learning and Research at the SBT, for suggesting that the authorship controversy is merely another “conspiracy theory,” and for labeling all doubters as “anti-Shakespeareans.” “Have you no sense of decency sirs, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”* York asked. “Or, as Shakespeare put it in Hamlet, 'O shame! where is thy blush?’” he added. “Doubters are not 'anti-Shakespeare,’” York insisted, “but your behaviour is most un-Shakespearean.”
REVIEW: 'Lisztian Loves'
Paganini was in fact the common denominator between the Ravinia programs on Thursday and Wednesday– more precisely, Franz Liszt's transcription of the famous Paganini solo-violin Caprice No. 24 that serves as the basis for Rachmaninov's Paganini Rhapsody.
The veteran pianist Andre Watts took to the Martin Theatre stage on Wednesday to perform Liszt's "grande etude after Paganini" as one of the segments of "Lisztian Loves," an unusual recital given as part of the festival's summer-long observance of the composer's bicentennial. What made the show so interesting was that the generous array of familiar and rare Liszt solo pieces performed by Watts was tied together by a theatrical narration delivered by actor Michael York, who played Franz Liszt. Here was the aged, ailing, weary virtuoso-composer, looking back at his life and loves as he contemplated his own approaching mortality.
Written and conceived by Harry Clark and directed by Troy Hollar, the show was built around the talents of Watts and York, both of whom made it an absorbing evening of music and theater, cleverly interwoven. The pianist was in terrific form, his playing licked by Lisztian flame. Liszt's music had given the young Watts his first big successes, and he remains one of our foremost Lisztians. York did not appear to be in the best physical health but this actually helped him create a believably frail but still feisty Liszt – peppery of mind and tongue, a legend in winter grandly strutting his final hours on a world stage once was his sovereign domain.
This was more than a clever impersonation: Liszt himself stood in front of us. Rocking gently in time with the music, he listened along with the rest of us while Watts thundered and sighed at the keyboard. And then Liszt, too, burst into applause, as if recalling the bravura thunderbolts with which he had once enthralled all of Europe.
'Lisztian Loves' premiere brings Liszt to life
At the end of Sunday's performance of "Lisztian Loves," Michael York leaned against the chair on stage and watched André Watts play Franz Liszt's "En reve."
The British actor smiled as the American pianist played with a silky shimmer.
As the final note clung in the air at the Berger Performing Arts Center, Watts returned York's smile.
The chemistry the pair had Sunday afternoon felt built on years of collaboration and friendship, not the hours they shared preparing for the world premiere of Chamber Music Plus cellist/playwright Harry Clark's new work. (Read the entire review on the Arizona Republic Newspaper web site).
Prayers: A Personal Selection
Recording produced by Michael York and composer Michael Hoppe
Review: Listeners feel the emotional depths of each prayer as Michael York's voice rises to a crescendo of praise and then drops to a meditative tone. With a selection of 24 prayers ranging from various Bible passages from the King James Version to well-known prayers like The Prayer of St. Francis and The Serenity Prayer, this production treats listeners to a variety of meditations upon the majesty of God. York evokes both the urgency of confessing and of waiting for the Lord’s answer to a particular petition. Michael Hoppe offers a dynamic original musical score for each prayer. Overall, this is an excellent addition to one’s Christian audio library.
Big-Screen Bruegel : A new film applies 21st-century technology to an Old Master
"Modern art pushes you away," says the Polish filmmaker and multimedia artist Lech Majewski. "With the Old Masters, you had to get right up next to the painting to follow what was going on. Those paintings created a whole universe that invited the viewer in."
Getting up close to a painting is exactly what Majewski does in his new film, The Mill and the Cross, which takes its inspiration from Michael Francis Gibson's book of the same name, a reading of Pieter Bruegel's 1564 The Way to Calvary. (Gibson, who has written for ARTnews, also collaborated with Majewski on the film's screenplay.) Bruegel's painting vividly depicts the social whirl that surrounds Christ's impending crucifixion, placing the event in what was for the painter the present day.
Majewski's film is a far cry from such melodramatic movie renderings of artists and their lives as Lust for Life or Moulin Rouge. Rather than telling the story through the framework of an artist's personal trials and tribulations, Majewski focuses on how Bruegel made the painting, showing the artist sketching, discussing his work, and scouting locations. We also see many of the characters whom Bruegel painted as they get caught up in both the drama of the crucifixion and the stark realities of life under the Spanish Inquisition.
"I want the viewer to live inside the painting," Majewski says about his film, adding that he wants us to meet the people in the picture "as they are painted." Aiding him is a stellar group of actors. Bruegel is portrayed by Rutger Hauer; Nicholas Jonghelinck, an art collector and patron of Bruegel's, is played by Michael York; and Charlotte Rampling is an arresting Virgin Mary.
An exclusive celebrity interview for Apollo Executive Review
Stuart Rowlands talks to Michael York
If the answer is “YES!” to the question “do you want to act” and you are aged between 13 and 21, the National Youth Theatre, Britain's Premiere youth theatre company, is just the place for you!
For a sixteen year old schoolboy from Bromley, Kent, the school boar notice was a siren song to the start of a career that has spanned nearly 45 years and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. In fact Michael York has no plans to retire. In late December, a few days before Christmas, he has finally returned to his home high in the Hollywood Hills above Los Angeles overlooking the Sunset Strip, where this interview took place, after a charged but enjoyable 2008.
“My father had a successful career at Marks & Spencer” says Michael, by way of explaining his own personal work ethic, “But 60 was the mandatory retiring age in those days in Britain and the emotional stress of giving it all up was considerable.”
In a profession with no cut-off point, Michael is driven to stretch and practice the actor’s art constantly, almost without pausing to take a breath. Unsurprisingly, he looked a little weary but still slim and fit while recounting a 12-month work schedule that would stun an ox.
A Conversation with Actor Michael York: Narrator for The Word of Promise® Audio Bible
With his distinctive rich, emotive baritone, Michael York’s professional career has spanned 46 years, with more than 60 screen credits, including “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Three Musketeers,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Logan’s Run,” and “The Island of Dr. Moreau.” He has appeared in more than 80 television shows and numerous Broadway and regional theater productions. Drawing on his theatrical training and experience, as well as the MA in English he earned from Oxford University, he co-wrote A Shakespearean Actor Prepares, with theatrical director Adrian Brine.
York has also done more than 90 film narrations and audio books, including Thomas Nelson’s award-winning The Word of Promise® Audio Bible which features the work of over 600 actors, including Jim Caviezel, Richard Dreyfuss, Gary Sinise, Jason Alexander, Marisa Tomei, Stacy Keach and Jon Voight.
Paula K. Parker recently had an opportunity to talk with Michael York about the challenges and rewards of narrating the Bible. (Read full Interview at BuddyHollywood.com)
Stars lined up for new audio Bible
Michael York, Richard Dreyfuss, Jason Alexander and hundreds of others lent their voices to quite a creation: a 79-CD, elaborate audio portrayal of the Old and New Testaments.
Narrator Michael York logged more than 500 hours of recording time. Performing the Bible verbatim involved more than 1,000 actors, technicians and musicians. (Read the full article)
Honorary Satellite Award Opens Doors for Mary Pickford Documentary
When director Nicholas Eliopoulos and his producer Elizabeth Wood Coldicutt received an Honorary Satellite Award for their documentary “Mary Pickford: Muse of the Movies” at the International Press Academy’s annual award gala held in Dec. 2009, the statuette not only represented an acknowledgement of their years dedicated to the biopic but has also opened new doors for the project in 2010.
“National Public Radio has contacted us for an interview,” Eliopoulos said, “Turner Classic Movies is looking at a screener for their upcoming festival.”
Actor Michael York, who narrates the documentary with Pickford via archival audio, was also presented with the IPA prestigious “Mary Pickford Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to the Entertainment Industry” at this year’s awards presentation. Since 1997, IPA’s highest honor has been the Pickford statuette, a special life achievement award.
“Michael’s award and the Honorary Satellite for our project represents a real show of support and acknowledgement of the impact Mary Pickford had on the birth of American cinema. For my producers Elizabeth Wood Coldicutt and Thomas Coldicutt, and myself, the IPA’s recognition of our work could not have come at a better time.” (Read full article)
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Michael York Shows His Blinkers
Michael York became one of Great Britain’s most beloved exports starting in the 1960s when the young actor appeared in two of director Franco Zeffirelli’s classic Shakespearean adaptations: The Taming of the Shrew (1967) and Romeo and Juliet (1968).
Born Michael Hugh Johnson (he later borrowed his stage name of York from a popular brand of English cigarette) on March 27, 1942, in Fulmer, Buckinghamshire, England, York enjoyed a comfortable, middle class childhood, which was punctuated by a considerable amount of relocation as his business executive father moved up the corporate ladder. (Visit site to read full interview...)
Celebrity Profile from Examiner.com
In a career spanning nearly 50 years, English actor Michael York has surely covered the spectrum of dramatic genres—from romance and sci-fi to religious and comedic—Michael has done them all.
He is probably best known for his roles in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet, the 1970’s science fiction epic Logan’s Run, and as Basil Exposition in the Austin Powers movies. (Visit Examiner site to read more...)
Michael York featured on BuzzBoard
To read Michael's post on why he can't live without his earplugs, visit BuzzBoard.