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."
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.
Michael Allan Gothard bought a terraced house in Shirlock Road, Hampstead, NW3 2HS.

SR1

The Land Registry lists him as “Actor.”

This house was evidently intended as insurance against the vagaries of the acting profession, because as Sean McCormick later describes, during the 1980s, Michael rented out four or five rooms or flats, and lived on an upper floor.

Michael did not immediately move into the house. The 1977 electoral roll lists three people living there - a couple and a single woman; perhaps they were sitting tenants.

SR2

View of Shirlock Road.

SR house 3

Michael is first registered as living there in 1981, and it was his place of residence until his death in 1992.

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October 2013

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