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Guest Actor Biography
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Michael Ward

Freddy, Killer

by David K. Smith with James Hogg

George William Everard Yeo Ward was born on 9 April, 1909 in Redruth, Cornwall, the only child of a clergyman. After many years living a nomadic life, his family finally settled in Caddington, near Luton, around 1930, and young Michael began work as a private tutor and then as an ambulance driver.

Abandoning his dream to be a concert pianist, Michael decided to pursue acting and in 1946 he won a scholarship to the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Soon thereafter he became the understudy to comedian Vic Oliver in The Night and the Music at the Coliseum. Thus began a long career as a supporting actor, appearing in nearly 70 films, 20 West End shows and over 200 television programs, making him one of the country's busiest and best-known character actors.

In 1947 Michael won his first film role in An Ideal Husband starring Paulette Goddard and directed by Alexander Korda, which effectively launched his career. By 1960 he had appeared in over 30 films and, in 1961 he played the photographer in Carry On Regardless. Roles in Carry On Cabbie, Carry On Cleo, Carry On Screaming and Don't Lose Your Head followed.

The early 60s marked a shift toward television where he figured prominently in the "golden age" of British television comedy, appearing in, among many others, Hancock's Half Hour, The Jack Benny Show, Steptoe and Son, Sykes, Rising Damp, The Two Ronnies and The Dick Emery Show. Perhaps his most memorable role was as Adrian in Morecambe and Wise.

His last screen outing would be in 1978's Revenge of the Pink Panther, after which he suffered a stroke and was forced to retire as he was unable to walk. He finally passed away on 8 November 1997 at St Mary's Hospital, Ladbroke Grove, London, at age 88.

Links: Visit Michael Ward's Official Website for more information as well as many images. The site was created by James Hogg, a relative of Michael's.

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Page last modified 26 October 2005.