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Michael Medwin

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Michael Medwin

Born
Michael Hugh Medwin

(1923-07-18)18 July 1923
London, England
Died26 February 2020(2020-02-26) (aged 96)
Bournemouth, England
OccupationActor, film producer
Years active1940–2008
Spouse(s)
Sunny Sheila Back
(m. 1960; div. 1971)

Michael Hugh Medwin, OBE (18 July 1923 – 26 February 2020) was an English actor and film producer.[1]

Life and career

Medwin was born in London. He was educated at Canford School, Dorset, and the Institute Fischer, Montreux, Switzerland. He first appeared on stage in 1940.

Medwin's West End theatre credits include Man and Superman, The Rivals, Love for Love, Duckers and Lovers, Alfie, St Joan of the Stockyards, and What the Butler Saw.[2] At the National Theatre he played a season which included Weapons of Happiness (Ralph Makepeace), Volpone (Corvino) and The Madras House. He appeared in Black Ball Game at the Lyric Hammersmith.[2] He also played Lloyd Dallas in one of the casts of the long-running production of Noises Off in the early 1980s.[2]

He is probably best known for his role as radio boss Don Satchley in the BBC television detective series Shoestring, as well as for playing Scrooge's nephew Fred in the film version of Scrooge, a musical based on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and for his role in The Army Game, a British television comedy series of the late 1950s and early 1960s. With Bernard Bresslaw, Leslie Fyson and Alfie Bass, he took the theme tune from The Army Game into the UK Singles Chart in 1958, where it peaked at number 5.[3][4][5]

As well as his role in Shoestring, he played Colin's boss Mr Langley (of the Langley Book of Horror) in the Mel Smith comedy series Colin's Sandwich. In 1961, Medwin played the lead named Michael in BBC Radio Light Programme comedy series about an advertising company called Something to Shout About.[citation needed]

He made many film appearances, taking a leading role as Ginger Edwards in the 1953 Guy Hamilton film The Intruder, for which one critic wrote that Medwin "gives a brilliant study of a good fellow gone wrong."[6] Others included Carry On Nurse (1959) and The Longest Day (1962), before turning to producing films. Among the films he produced for Memorial Enterprises, a company he established with actor Albert Finney, are Charlie Bubbles (1967), directed by Finney, and Lindsay Anderson's If.... (1968), which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. He worked again with Anderson on O Lucky Man! (1973), continuing the story of the Mick Travis character from their earlier film.[4][5] Medwin has been quoted many times as saying "I knew at a young age I was going to be an actor: acting has always been in my bones". He also said that Charles Laughton and Edward G. Robinson were the two biggest influences in his life of acting, and considered being appointed OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2005 Queens Birthday Honour's List for Services to Drama the single greatest thing that ever happened to him.

As a play producer, his work includes Spring and Port Wine, Alpha Beta, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Forget Me Not Lane and Another Country.[2] Medwin formed with David Pugh in 1988, David Pugh Limited, a West End and Broadway theatrical production company, of which he remained chairman until his death on 26 February 2020.

Selected filmography

References

  1. ^ "Michael Medwin: Shoestring actor dies aged 96 - BBC News". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Biographical note for Michael Medwin, from programme for Noises Off, Savoy Theatre, December 1984.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 359. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ a b c "Michael Medwin". Archived from the original on 4 November 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2015. at the B.F.I -Accessed 19 December 2015
  5. ^ a b "Michael Medwin Full Biography".New York Times by Hal Erickson, Rani,All Movie Guide- Accessed 19 December 2015
  6. ^ Campbell Dixon, The Daily Telegraph, 17 October 1953, quoted on the programme note for 'Projecting the Archive - The Intruder', BFI Documentation Unit, 2012.

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