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... )
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."

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.
This film is about a rich girl from Chelsea, Polly, who wants to experience real life, so she gets a job in a factory in Battersea where she makes friends with the girls working there, and gets a crumby flat.

Read more... )
This seminal film of the 1960s must have been an important break for Michael, working with many others who were rising stars, such as Dennis Waterman, Maureen Lipman, Liz Fraser and Susan George.

Michael plays Terry, a friend of the hero, Pete (Dennis Waterman).

In this gritty drama, Terry gets his girlfriend Rube (Adrienne Posta) pregnant, and she has an abortion without telling him. He has a fabulous scene confronting Rube’s friend Sylvie (Maureen Lipman) and mother Mrs McCarthy (Liz Fraser), and later dies in a motorbike accident just after getting engaged to Rube.

Release date: 13 March 1968


New York Times, 31 July 2012

“The supporting roles in this movie are as strong as they were in "To Sir With Love," and several members of the cast—including Adrienne Posta were in the earlier film. It seems that in British movies of this genre one always has either a birth or an abortion, and Miss Posta—in a part that consists mainly of being a rather leaden ball of fluff, has the abortion scene. Maureen Lipman, plays Miss Posta's sister—a wise, mischievous young woman, who, but for her lack of education, would probably have become a considerably less charming intellectual. Michael Gothard plays a boy next door, who dies, twitching, in a motorcycle wreck. Other minor characters, including some real Battersea residents in a pub, are convincing, too.”

Full review

Michael was to work with Dennis Waterman again, in 1985, on an episode of “Minder” – “From Fulham with Love.”

Alfie Bass also featured in “Up the Junction”; he and Michael appeared together again on “Arthur of the Britons” in 1973.

Michael’s former girlfriend N.B., who first met him in 1984, says:

'He didn’t like watching himself. I never got him to show me any movie he had worked in. From what he told me, I think he liked the film “Up the Junction” and “Arthur of the Britons.” And the French one, “La vallée.”'

Watch Up the Junction on Youtube.

IMDB entry



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October 2013

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