Michael Craig (actor)

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Michael Craig
Michael Francis Gregson

(1929-01-27) 27 January 1929 (age 92)
Poona, British India (now Pune, Maharashtra, India)
  • actor
  • scriptwriter
Years active1949–2018
Spouse(s)Babette Collier
Susan Walker
Children3; including Jessica Gregson
Relatives Richard Gregson (brother)
Natasha Gregson Wagner (niece)
Reginald Hanson (great-grandfather)
Julia Gregson (sister-in-law)

Michael Francis Gregson (born 27 January 1929), [1] known professionally as Michael Craig, is a British-Australian actor and scriptwriter, known for his work in theatre, film and television [2] both in the United Kingdom and in Australia. [3]



Craig was born Michael Francis Gregson [1] in Poona, British India, the son of Donald Gregson, a captain in the 3rd Indian Cavalry. [1]

Acting career

Craig began his career in the theatre. His first job was as an assistant stage manager at the Castle Theatre, Farnham, in 1950. [4] His stage credits include A Whistle in the Dark (Apollo Theatre, 1961), Wars of the Roses (RSC at Stratford 1963–64), Funny Girl (with Barbra Streisand at the Prince of Wales Theatre 1966), Pinter's The Homecoming (Music Box Theatre, Broadway 1966–67) and the lead role in Trying in Australia in 2007 and at the Finborough Theatre, London, in 2009. [4] [5]

Craig began working in films in 1949, as an extra. [6] He was then talent-spotted at the Oxford Playhouse and gained his first speaking part in Malta Story (1953). [7] Groomed as a star by the Rank Organisation, he appeared in a number of films, including Campbell's Kingdom (1957), Sea of Sand (1958), The Silent Enemy (1958), Sapphire (1959), Doctor in Love (1960), Cone of Silence (1960), Mysterious Island (1961), The Iron Maiden (1962), A Choice of Kings , Modesty Blaise (1966), Turkey Shoot (1982), Ride a Wild Pony (1975) and Appointment with Death (1988). [6] He received a BAFTA Best actor nomination for his performance in Sea of Sand (1958). [8]

His television credits include Arthur of the Britons (1973), The Emigrants (1976), Rush (1976), The Danedyke Mystery (1979), The Professionals (1980), Shoestring (1980), The Timeless Land (1980), Triangle (1981–83), Tales of the Unexpected (1982), Robin of Sherwood (1986), Doctor Who (in the serial Terror of the Vervoids 1986), the Australian series G.P. (1989–95), Brides of Christ (1991), Grass Roots (2000) and Always Greener (2003). [9] He was the subject of an hour-long interview on his life and career recorded for and broadcast on Talking Pictures TV in 2018.

Scriptwriting credits

Craig's scriptwriting credits include the ABC-TV trilogy The Fourth Wish (1974), which starred John Meillon in an award-winning performance as the father of a dying boy. Craig also wrote the screenplay for the feature film The Fourth Wish (1976), which was produced following the success of the television series. [4] Alongside his co-writers, Richard Gregson (his brother) and Bryan Forbes, Craig was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay of The Angry Silence (1960). [10]

Personal life

Craig's first wife was Babette Collier. His second is the Australian actress Susan Walker. [7] He is the father of Jessica Gregson; his brother was the film producer Richard Gregson and, because of Richard's marriage to Natalie Wood, Craig is an uncle of the actress Natasha Gregson Wagner. [11] In 2005, his autobiography The Smallest Giant: An Actor's Life was published. [12]

Selected filmography

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  1. 1 2 3 Craig's autobiography, The Smallest Giant: An Actor's Life
  2. "Michael Craig". BFI.
  3. "Sunday Brunch - Michael Craig". www.abc.net.au. 3 June 2007.
  4. 1 2 3 "The Timeless Land" from the ABC television series, Australian Broadcasting Commission, Sydney, 1980. ISBN   0-642-97469-1
  5. "Michael Craig - Theatricalia". theatricalia.com.
  6. 1 2 "Michael Craig - Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  7. 1 2 McFarlane, Brian (16 May 2016). The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN   9781526111975 via Google Books.
  8. "1959 Film British Actor - BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org.
  9. "Michael Craig". www.aveleyman.com.
  10. "The 33rd Academy Awards - 1961".
  11. "Michael Craig". IMDb.
  12. "The Smallest Giant - Michael Craig - 9781741145656 - Allen & Unwin - Australia". www.allenandunwin.com. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017. Retrieved 12 December 2017.