Michael Sheard

Last updated 09 January 2020

Michael Sheard (1938-2005)
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Michael Sheard

Born: Saturday 18th June 1938
Died: Wednesday 31st August 2005 (age: 67)


Michael Sheard was a Scottish actor who featured in a large number of films and television programmes and appeared in 17 episodes of Doctor Who.

His most prominent television role was as strict deputy headmaster Maurice Bronson in the British children's series Grange Hill which he played from 1985-89 

Sheard was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, the son of a church minister, and was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. During his National Service, Sheard was a Royal Air Force aircraftman.

Sheard is most known for playing villains. His most prominent film role was that of Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

In addition to his Star Wars role, Sheard had a lengthy affiliation with science fiction and appeared in six different Doctor Who stories, opposite the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Doctors. He also worked with Eighth Doctor Paul McGann in The Stones of Venice, a Doctor Who audio drama produced by Big Finish Productions. He was a regular guest at both Doctor Who and Star Wars conventions over the years in the UK and the US.

Further to this, he had guest roles in Colditz (1972), On The Buses (1973), Space: 1999 (1975), The Tomorrow People (1978), and Blake's 7 (1980).

Sheard portrayed Adolf Hitler five times throughout his career, including in The Tomorrow People (1978),  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and Rogue Male (1976). He has also portrayed Heinrich Himmler three times. In 1983, he played Herr Grunwald, the German manager of a building site, in the first series of Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.

In 1980, he had a major supporting role in Stephen Poliakoff's acclaimed BBC television play Caught on a Train.

In February 2005 Sheard played a small cameo role as the narrator in Star Wars fan film Order of the Sith: Vengeance and its sequel, Downfall - Order of the Sith, alongside Jeremy Bulloch and Dave Prowse. These fan films were made in England in support of Save the Children.