The BFI brought out three films in which Michael Gothard had major roles, “Herostratus”, “The Devils” and “La Valleé.” The booklets that accompany and “Herostratus” (released 24/08/2009) and “La Valleé” (released 08/06/2009) both include sections about him, but while the notes in the “La Valleé” booklet include some material specifically related to his role in that film, the notes for "Herostratus” are basically the same.

These notes show a disappointing reliance on online sources, one of whom – Curtis Harrington – actively disliked Michael Gothard. A quotation from Harrington is even used to provide the title: “An interesting type.”

At best, this phrase, culled from a highly personal attack that Harrington launched on Gothard some years after his death, damns a very talented and unique actor – not a ‘type’ – with faint praise, and tends to discourage the reader from looking more closely at his work.

It is tempting to think that the reason this quotation was used, was that it was easy to find. It’s true that there was not much information about Michael Gothard available at the time the booklet on “Herostratus” was written, but a little research in a library reveals that John Glen, the Director of “For Your Eyes Only”, described him as “a captivating actor”1, and that Louis M. Heyward, the Executive Producer of “Scream and Scream Again” said: "I felt that Michael Gothard was going to be the biggest thing that ever happened. He had that insane look and that drive, and he was wonderful … He had a lot of class and a lot of style.”2

Either of these quotations could have more aptly supplied a title for Michael Gothard's mini-biography. Instead, Harrington’s quotation sets the tone for an article which is not only negative, but misleading.

Firstly, the statement that, “Michael Gothard’s choice of television and film roles illustrated the dark side of the 1960s and 70s” warrants scrutiny. The word “choice” assumes that at the start of his career, Michael had the pick of television and film roles - which seems unlikely – rather than having to take what was offered.

Secondly, even if he did, indeed, choose the roles he took on between 1967 and 1979, from among many, it cannot be said that all or even most of them illustrated the "darker side" of those times. An argument could be made for his roles in “Herostratus”, “Up the Junction”, “More”, “The Storyteller”, “The Excavation”, “La Vallée”, “Nine Bean Rows”, “Games People Play”, “Run for Your Money”, and “Stopover”, but even some of those are debatable, and not all of them are extant.

As for the rest: “The Machine Stops” is set in the future; “The Further Adventures of the Musketeers”, “Michael Kohlhaas”, “The Last Valley”, “The Devils”, “Arthur of the Britons”, “The Three and Four Musketeers”, and “Warrior Queen” are all set in the past. “Les Fleurs du Mal” is an escapist spy/crime drama, “Scream and Scream Again”, a horror/science fiction, “When the Spirit Moves You”, a supernatural comedy, “Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?” a thriller, and “Warlords of Atlantis” a fantasy adventure. It is hard to see how his role in any of these could illustrate the darker side of the 1960s and 70s.

The notes go on to describe Michael as having a “deep, hard voice.” In his work that post-dates “Up the Junction”, his voice was deep, but “hard” is not how most people would describe it. David Wickes, who directed him in “Jack the Ripper” and “Frankenstein”, spoke of “his soft, husky voice” which “was electrifying … he knew how to use it to maximum effect.”

The notes go further into the realms of fantasy when they state that Gothard was “usually cast in historical actioners, European arthouse or mind-bending genre movies, more often than not torn apart or committing the ‘elemental crime’ of suicide.”

It’s true that he was often cast in historical pieces: a total of twelve productions. Under the heading “European Arthouse” there seem to be only three films, “Herostratus”, “La Valleé”, and a non-speaking appearance in “More.” Mind-bending genre movies? Again, perhaps “Herostratus” is one of those, along with “Scream and Scream Again”, and “Lifeforce.”

However,this only constitutes seventeen productions: less than half of Michael Gothard’s forty-two roles. This doesn’t fulfill the description, “usually cast.”

But it is the final assertion in the sentence – that his characters are “more often than not torn apart or committing the ‘elemental crime’ of suicide’” – which is the most damaging, and the most lacking in substance. It is complete fabrication.

Even if one assumes that by “torn apart”, the writer means “conflicted”, rather than literally “torn apart” (which never happens), this statement has no basis in fact. Most of Michael’s characters show no sign of being conflicted, and certainly not to the extent of being “torn apart.” Many of them – Kuno, John, Weber, Hansen, Father Barré, Albie, Volthan, Gaspard, Locque, Terry Marvin, Karl Portillo, Strett, Stefan, Xaros – are unusually single-minded.

Of his 42 known film and TV roles, only six of them, Max (“Herostratus”), Ivan (“Games People Play”), Olivier (“La Valleé”), Kai (“Arthur of the Britons”), Felton (The “Musketeers” films) Athelstane (“Ivanhoe”) and Sergei (“From Fulham With Love”) ever suffer significant internal conflict. Only in Max and Olivier is it a basic character trait, rather than something arising from circumstances, and Olivier’s conflict is not a bad thing, but the result of intellectual curiosity and a refreshing capacity to step back from his sociological context.

As for the ‘elemental crime’ of suicide’: in “Herostratus”, Michael’s character, Max, intends to commit suicide, but changes his mind, then accidentally kills someone else. In “Scream and Scream Again”, as the artificially-created vampire, Keith, he jumps into a bath of acid to avoid capture, presumably because he has been programmed to do so, rather than from an actual desire to kill himself.

There is no other instance in his entire known canon of film and TV work, of a character Michael Gothard played committing suicide.

Even if, being charitable, we count all six of the conflicted characters, and add in Keith the vampire as a suicide, this makes a total of seven roles out of forty-two: one sixth does not constitute “more often than not.”

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the writer made these claims in a misguided attempt to make things seem neat and tidy - by telling the rather tired story of an actor and his roles becoming one and the same thing - rather than making the effort to find out the truth.

Another less important inaccuracy, is the claim that Michael Gothard appeared in “Vampyre.” He did not. It was intended that he should appear, but the project fell through, and was eventually resurrected without him.

Towards the end of the article, the writer describes Michael Gothard “momentarily acting opposite Marlon Brando” as if that were his finest hour, when it was more like Brando’s worst. In fact, Gothard was brought in as a possible replacement for Brando, whom John Glen thought unreliable, and in the end, Brando got terrible notices for the film.

Finally, the article says of Michael Gothard: “Overpowered by depression, he hanged himself at home in Hampstead, aged 53 and alone.”

We know that Michael Gothard had suffered from depression for most of his life, on and off, but his suicide was unexpected. Some friends suspect that prescription medication may have precipitated his suicide, but the truth of what was going on in his mind will probably never be known, so to claim, as fact, that he was “overpowered by depression” is pure speculation.

Naturally he was “alone” at the time when he killed himself – few people take their own lives in company. But the tacit implication of “aged 53 and alone” is that he was “alone” in his life, and this is completely wrong.

A lifelong musician, he often met up with fellow musicians for jamming sessions. He dated many beautiful women, and was an avid letter-writer, keeping in touch with old friends and girlfriends. While he seems – as far as the creators of this archive have been able to discover – to have had no contact with his father, and little with his mother, he did have close friends whom he regarded as family.

The writer of the notes in the BFI booklet could not have known all this at the time they wrote the article, so - presumably because Michael Gothard’s social life was not plastered all over the tabloids every day - they have made the mistake of interpreting his whole life in the light of his final act, and suggesting that he was living a solitary and miserable existence. This is both misleading, and insulting to him and to his friends. It would have been better to be honest, and simply say, “Little is known of his private life”, but that wouldn’t have fitted in with story the writer wanted to tell.

~~

1 "For My Eyes Only: My Life with James Bond”, by John Glen. (2001)
2 Interview with Louis M. Heyward by Gary A. Smith, in “Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976.” (2006)
This obituary was published on 18 February, 1993, on page 29 of 'The Stage and Television Today.'

"Michael Gothard, who died aged 53 on December 2, was an actor of great strength and individuality.

He played many major roles, but will be best remembered for many television and film appearances.

On television, he played second lead in Arthur of the Britons and Jack the Ripper. In film he was the Prosecutor in Ken Russell’s The Devils and the villain in For Your Eyes Only.

He had recently finished working in Frankenstein for director David Wickes."
This obituary was published on 8 January, 1993, on page 40 of 'Screen International.'

"Michael Gothard, who died aged 53 on December 2, was an actor of great strength and individuality.

He will probably be best remembered in the TV series Arthur of the Britons and David Wickes' Jack the Ripper; and in films as the prosecutor in Ken Russell’s The Devils and the villain in For Your Eyes Only."
Michael’s death was registered in the London Borough of Camden.
He died on Wednesday 2nd December 1992.

He was described as “Actor and Therapist.”

An inquest, held on the 5th January 1993, concluded:
“Cause of death is Hanging
Took his own life on account of his illness.”

An article in the Hampstead and Highgate local paper said that “the inquest was told that he had been receiving treatment for depression.”
Angharad 24 was lucky enough to hear from Xavier, a friend of Michael’s, who got to know him pretty well during the late eighties.

Xavier and the others in his group – all now professional musicians – were about 20 years younger than Michael. Michael was very happy to find a younger generation so interested in jazz and blues, and they became friends. He seemed to enjoy the company of younger people, and they enjoyed his.

Michael was a really very nice bloke, who was generous and open most of the time. He was not at all egotistical; rather Xavier thought him self-effacing, and burdened by self-doubt, which probably had a detrimental effect on his career.

When they first met, Xavier had never heard of him, and was only told that he had been in films such as “For Your Eyes Only” and “The Devils” by the others. Michael never spoke much about his films, and didn’t name-drop, though he had acted with some of the best-known actors of the century. He did express frustration at being offered ‘hit-man’ roles, and hoped he would be given a chance to get out of them, but said, ‘nobody wanted me.’

Xavier felt sure that playing a part well meant more to Michael than money or fame.

He loved music and just wanted to learn more. He played saxophone and drums well, but even in music, Mike would have moments where he would say “Oh, I’m no good at this.” Xavier thought he was self-taught, because he would ask for help with reading difficult music.

The whole group loved “Some Like it Hot”, and Michael thought that Marilyn Monroe was a great actress.

He had around three different girlfriends in the years 1989 – 92. He said he wouldn’t have minded marriage but did not want children. Unfortunately, most of the girls he’d been with had wanted them. He liked children, but had no ‘paternal feelings.’

Once, a young female punk walked into the bar where they were meeting, and drank out of a bottle. Michael asked why women thought they had to dress up and behave like men to get liberated, and said these young women didn’t know they were born! His grandmother and mother had lived very hard lives, but they came through it and bettered themselves while retaining their femininity. “My mother always made sure that she dressed nicely and kept her appearance and femininity throughout” (or words to that effect). Nevertheless, Xavier thought Michael was definitely in favour of equality.

Michael had a fierce hatred of Thatcher. He was a champion of the working classes, and Xavier thinks he would have voted Labour.

Xavier and the others knew of Michael’s depression. He told them he could go for weeks on end just not wanting to join the rest of the world, and that at one time he’d had to drop out of a project in the early stages, because he just couldn’t force himself to go to the studio. He also said that making and listening to music soothed him.

Xavier was out of the country and hadn’t seen Michael for about a year when he heard of his death. The whole group were very upset.
This is the photo used in Michael's 1985 - 92 Spotlight entries.

The photo was taken in 1984, and is uncredited.

Spotlight 1985-92

Michael was still with John Redway & Associates Ltd.
This production was filmed in 1984, though it was not released until 1988.

Per. Michael's former girlfriend N.B., they went to Copenhagen in September 1984.

"That's where Michael was filming for several weeks. I was accompanying him, and met the people on the set, i.e. Chris Lemmon and Lea Thompson. Lemmon flew in only shortly. Copenhagen was the only place he went to for this film. The parts in the USA were made without him."
Former girlfriend N.B. mentioned that during the time she was with him, 1984 - 87, Michael had jammed with fellow musicians, including Clive Bell.

In answer to my questions about these times, Clive had this to say:

"For about a year or so, Mike, myself, and a few others, used to meet for jam sessions, where we attempted to play jazz; it was very amateurish. We never played outside the
house.

Mike used to play the sax, and sometimes the flute, while I played the piano.

Later, Mike found other more experienced or professional musicians, and for a while even studied jazz with the bass player Peter Ind. But after our first brief moments we never played music together again, although we were friends, and remained so until his death."
N.B., a former girlfriend of Michael’s, was kind enough to talk to me, and answer some questions. Here is what she told me:

I was amazed at hearing about your project. I am sure Michael would have been even more surprised to find people still honouring his work as an actor some twenty years later. He wouldn't feel he was worth the trouble.

How/where did I meet Michael

I got to know Michael on a crisp spring Sunday morning in 1984 in the “brasserie Dome”1 in Hampstead. He sat there having his cappuccino and reading the Sunday paper. I was having breakfast with a friend of mine. I was living in London as an au-pair, and so was my friend; we cherished our fee day away from the family where we lived and worked.

My friend knew Michael, because he had taken her out for dinner some weeks previously and she said hello to him across the tables. She pointed out who he was and I immediately recognised him thanks to his glasses. They were the ones he wore in the Bond film “For Your Eyes Only.”
Read more... )
The following piece was added to ‘Wikipedia talk’ on 17 November 2011 at 13:53 by someone calling themselves The Runewriter - evidently a Swedish person, sex unknown.

A lot of what they say about Michael is accurate, and not widely known, so The Runewriter had clearly met him, and got to know him. Michael’s former girlfriend N.B. thinks the person might be a Swedish woman called Kerstin, who was living at Michael’s house in Shirlock Road in 1984.

However, some of what The Runewriter says cannot be confirmed.

“In the spring of 1984, Michael Gothard came to Stockholm to stage a minor role in a film called ‘Starman’, where he was originally cast for the title role. However, due to some intrigues, he was replaced by Jeff Bridges.

In the film you can see that the mechanical dolls, supposed to show the Starman taking the shape of a human being, are based on Michael Gothard’s traits. He would have been perfect to embody this alienated personality trying to survive by adapting to the life on earth.

Instead he was to stage a researcher in wheelchair. Anyway the film a year later was promoted with Michael Gothard’s name in capital letters, as if he still was playing one of the leading characters.1

So he had a lot of hours off in Stockholm and went to a performance of ‘King Lear’ staged by Ingmar Bergman at the Dramatic Theatre.2

Michael Gothard was an intellectual man who knew his Shakespeare by heart, and probably he was the only one in the film team who bothered to attend a theatre performance in Swedish. I happened to sit behind him and got the whole story about ‘Starman’, and it really astonished me.

I visited Michael Gothard in London, and learned to know him as a warm, intelligent and humorous character that made original remarks and comments about things going on.

I will never forget what he said about the centre of Stockholm, that used to be a place with old houses – among them palaces from the 17th and 18th centuries. When Michel saw the brutal city renewal from the 70s he would go: "I didn't think Sweden was in the war!" I had to inform him that the stupid Swedes had destroyed their city.

Talking about war, Michael told me he had suffered through the Blitz as many other Londoners, but during those – also to grown-ups scaringly dark years – he was parted from his parents.

Michael Gothard, although working for the commercial film industry, was a culturally critical person, he was a member of the peace movement, he was against nuclear power and politically leftist.

A film he recommended to me from those times was ‘My Dinner with Andre’, not interesting for its camerawork, but for its way of explaining the social situations of actors.

He told me that he in the beginning of his career had been offered a job at RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company), and I asked why he hadn't tried this, and I must say I never really understood his answer; it was something about not repeating yourself.
But I thought film actors had to repeat the scenes all the time ...

Before Michael Gothard chose to work with his language as an actor, he had also volunteered as journalist at local papers.3

He was a witty and funny letter writer.

Michael Gothard was a multi-talented person, he played the saxophone, he was also sketching what I remember as abstract pictures, and he closely followed his times, describing himself as a news addict.

Coming from a country famous for its suicides, I also want to add, that of course the cause of death throws its shadow on a person’s life, but it doesn't mean that the life itself was a very dark one. At least Michael and I had a lot of fun together, and I wish our friendship had lasted longer.

What also bothers me are some stories about the less serious parts of the film industry Michael told me. He said actors could sometimes get killed and their death then masked as a suicide or an accident, so they wouldn't have to pay the actor.

Anyway, if he took his life it wasn't an action against us that loved him, it was due to very sad and tragic circumstances. Depression is a disease with as big a risk of death as some severe forms of cancer, and it has to be treated by specialists, sometimes even in hospital. What a tragedy that there was no one there to take him by the hand and lead him to the hospital.”

~~

1 While the mechanical bodies could be said to look like Michael, there is no sign of him in the film. Either his role was cut completely, or there has been a misunderstanding or misremembering by The Runewriter. I can find no trace of Michael Gothard’s name on the Swedish poster for “Starman.”

However, Michael was said to have been in the frame for two other roles in “Lifeforce”: those of the hero, Col. Tom Carlsen (eventually played by Steve Railsback) and Col. Colin Caine (eventually played by Peter Firth) before he was eventually cast as Dr. Bukovsky.

As they posted this many years later, it seems possible that The Runewriter's memory is a little unreliable, and that he or she has got these two films mixed up.

Neither of the two productions were filmed in Sweden, so presumably Michael had gone there during a break in, or at the end of, the filming of his scenes in "Lifeforce."

2 The Ingmar Bergman production of King Lear mentioned by The Runewriter was first performed on 9 March 1984.

3 Childhood friend Baz encountered Michael working as a trainee reporter for the Kensington Post in 1961.
I managed to contact one of Michael's former tenants, Malcolm, who had this to say:

"Yes, I am that person who lived at Michael’s house in Hampstead. He was a landlord at that time and took people into his house on a rental basis. I was in the house for about a year. Michael didn’t interfere with his tenants except when the rent was required. He wasn’t overly concerned if you couldn’t pay the months rent, provided it was paid the next month.

I found him to be an intelligent man.

He had the top floor, and I remember he had a stunning looking girlfriend. I sometimes spoke to his girlfriend, [M.T.] but was in awe of her beauty and I recall her as a very nice person.

I seem to recall seeing into his flat on one occasion, and I think it featured a large bed under some skylights, with spectacular views of the British weather.

Michael had a female friend who lived up the road and who was into collecting magic mushrooms on Hampstead Heath.

I remember the house had a back garden that was accessed by the ground floor flat at the back. The house had 3 flats on the lower floor. Lots of the tenants were actors/actresses. The garden flat was occupied by a starlet on one of the soap operas, and the other room by a musician.

I had to leave, after Michael and I had a fight. One Sunday, I heard screaming from a woman in the house opposite the back garden in Shirlock Road. It sounded like she was being beaten by somebody.

I was leaving the house to see if she needed help, when I bumped into Michael who advised not getting involved. However, I ignored this advice and went round the corner, to find the police had already arrived.

I was returning to Shirlock Road when Michael approached me and was very upset I had ignored his advice. He pushed me, and I hit him and nearly knocked him out.

The next thing I knew, the police had arrested me for assault and asked Michael whether he wanted to proffer charges.

Although he had a swollen and cut lip, he declined, and I was freed.

He was a big man and somewhat intimidating; the reason I won the fight was that I was earning my living as a building labourer, and was extremely strong and tough – sadly no longer the case!

That evening, M.T. came to see me, and advised that I should leave the house.

The next morning, I packed.

This is a bizarre incident, and to this day I don’t know why Michael was so upset at me trying to help what sounded like a woman in distress."

~~

Michael had already amicably split up with M.T. by this point; she still lived in the same house, but N.B. was Michael's girlfriend at the time of this incident.

N.B. says: "I can recall this incident with Michael and Malcolm, as it happened when I was with him. I think this story about some people having fights in his neighbourhood was not new. I remember that there were incidents of a similar kind. And I think he had interfered once himself, and it hadn't been a very good idea.

That's probably why he was suggesting that this young guy should better not get involved. Maybe he was just concerned about the consequences for someone in his house and he probably was also a bit angry that the man in question didn't take his advice. It is typical for Michael that he didn't want to sue him afterwards.

I think he wasn't too upset, but thought of the young man as being a bit rash. But as you know, he always had a lot of patience with youngsters."
This is the photo used in Michael's 1983 - 4 Spotlight entry.

The photo was taken in 1982.

83 - 84 Mancini crop

Michael was still with John Redway & Associates Ltd.
In 1982, there was an Equity referendum on whether the union should accept money from the government for the purposes of balloting members under the terms of the new employment law. This would have resulted in expulsion from the TUC.
The text of a campaign advert in The Stage, 10 June 1982, is reproduced below.

Alone among trade unions Equity has decided to take money for some of its ballots under the terms of the government’s employment law. If it does so it will almost certainly be expelled from the TUC. The AGM overwhelmingly supported a motion to reverse Council’s short-sighted decision. Council declined to accept the AGM’s recommendation and has now put the motion to referendum. We urge you to vote APPROVE.

1. The 1982 Employment Bill puts at risk everything Equity has fought for over the last 50 years. It will render unenforceable our casting agreements in variety, theatre, films, TV and radio.

2. Equity should stand firm with all the other arts & entertainments unions against this threat.

3. By taking government money for our ballots we would be sacrificing our political independence.

4. This government money would not solve Equity’s financial problems. The financial advantage is unlikely to amount to more than £1.00 per member per year.

5. If this referendum is not won, expulsion from the TUC is virtually certain.

6. Outside the TUC we would have no protection against “poaching” by other unions. Many unions, among them ASTMS, NATKE, ABS, NUJ, NUT & NATFHE – would be happy to represent specific aspects of our profession, our employment would fragment (SEVERAL UNIONS – SEVERAL SUBSCRIPTIONS) and our union voice would be lost.

7. Outside the TUC we would have little chance of defending our professional standards effectively, especially in the new electronic media.

WE BELIEVE THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CHOICE YOU WILL EVER HAVE TO MAKE IN EQUITY AFFAIRS, AND THE CHOICE IS YOURS. WE ASK YOU TO CHOOSE WISELY AND TO APPROVE THIS RESOLUTION.

Michael Gothard evidently felt strongly enough to contribute financially to the Save Equity Campaign, who placed the advert, as his name appears in the list of supporters beneath the main points of both this advert, and one published earlier, on 27 May 1982.
This is the photo used in Michael's 1982 - 3 Spotlight entry.

The photo is from “For Your Eyes Only” (1981) in which he played assassin Emile Leopold Locque. It was taken by Keith Hamshere.

82-3 crop

Michael was with a new agent, John Redway & Associates Ltd.
Marvel Super Special Magazine: For Your Eyes Only on-set report, including an interview with Michael Gothard.

This came out in 1981.

[Contessa Lisl’s] killer in For Your Eyes Only is a cold-eyed assassin called Emile Locque. Played by Michael Gothard, Loque is the film's equivalent of such past villainous henchmen as Red Grant in From Russia With Love and Mr. Wint in Diamonds Are Forever. Gothard is no stranger to cinematic evil – during his career he's played a vampire (in Scream and Scream Again), helped to burn Oliver Reed alive in The Devils and stabbed Simon Ward to death in The Four Musketeers. But he's suffered a lot of on-screen retribution himself.

"I've been killed in so many different ways on both the large and small screens," he said wryly. "I've been hanged, stabbed, strangled, shot, immersed in an acid bath,
crashed on a motorcycle, killed by a 10-year-old boy by a vicious blow to the spine, drowned and – on one memorable occasion – stabbed and drowned simultaneously.

It's quite a challenge to try and make an impact with a character as restrained and quiet as Locque. I had to act in a sort of straitjacket but I certainly did my best to make him into a menacing and evil presence. Audiences usually remember the Bond villains, and their henchmen, so I'm hoping I won't be an exception."

Speculation:
Some of these on-screen deaths are ones we know about:
As John, he was hanged in Michael Kolhlhaas.
As Kodai, he was shot in Stopover.
As Keith, he was immersed in an acid bath in Scream and Scream Again.
As Terry, he crashed on a motorcycle in Up the Junction.
As Hansen, he was killed (or at least maimed, which resulted in his being killed) by a 10-year-old boy by a vicious blow to the spine in The Last Valley.

That leaves four deaths "stabbed, strangled, drowned and stabbed and drowned simultaneously" unaccounted for.

If, as Michael says, these deaths were on film or TV, they must presumably each have occurred in one of five productions:
- the Armchair Theatre play - The Story-teller - in which he played Brian
- the episode of Menace – Nine Bean Rows - in which he played Pip
- the episode of Fraud Squad – Run for your Money - in which he played Jacky Joyce
- the Thirty Minute Theatre play – The Excavation - in which he played Grady
- the TV series - The Further Adventures of the Musketeers - in which he played Mordaunt.

We don't yet know which death belonged to which character.
Per an uncredited contributor to IMDB, Michael Gothard was asked to play Biroc in "Doctor Who: Warriors Gate", which was first broadcast in four weekly parts from 3 January to 24 January 1981.

This would have cast him alongside Tom Baker, who appeared in "Arthur of the Britons: Go Warily."

However, Michael was not available, as he was working on "For Your Eyes Only."

David Weston was cast instead.
This is the photo used in Michael's 1980 - 82 Spotlight entry.

The photo was taken in 1979 by Joe Lyons.

80 - 82 Joe Lyons crop

Michael was still with Duncan Heath Associates Ltd.
This is the photo used in Michael's 1979 - 80 Spotlight entry.

The photo was taken in 1978 by Miki Slingsby.

79 - 80 Miki Slingsby crop

Michael was still with Duncan Heath Associates Ltd.
In 1978, Michael's house in Shirlock Road appears to have been empty.

No one is listed at the property on the electoral roll.

Perhaps work was being done on the house.
Walking along Shirlock Road, I had a chance meeting with a lady who turned out to be a friend, and former neighbour of Michael Gothard’s. I introduced myself as a fan.

She said Michael was “a really nice guy”, and that she'd had no idea, until after his death, that he’d suffered from depression.

She remembered when he and M.T. got married, though she did not think any official ceremony had taken place.

In correspondence, she said:

“As far as I remember (and please be aware that my memories are vague, and may not be accurate!) he moved in shortly after us, in 1978.

One certain memory I have is of him telling me that psychotherapy was not a science, and that made it inexact; he appeared to have little time for it.

This conversation was held next door, when he was briefly seeing my (now late) great friend, Ann Sachs.

He did always appear morose, although courteous and pleasant. He was nice to my two children … they were very young at the time.

He definitely became much happier and more communicative after he got together with M.T. She was a beautiful person in every way. We all liked her. In fact, he asked me to a sort-of post-wedding party in his house, and it was very jolly.

Then I'm afraid my memory goes blank.

I became aware that they split up, and M.T. moved away.1 Shortly after (I really don't know how long), he committed suicide. I only found out some time (weeks) later, and felt very sad. I had no idea he was so unhappy."


1 From the electoral rolls, this would seem to have been around 1990.

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