Michael Jayston

Michael Jayston (born Michael James on 29 October 1935) is a Nottingham-born English actor. He attended the Becket Grammar School in West Bridgford, then worked briefly as a trainee accountant at the offices of the National Coal Board before obtaining a scholarship to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to train as an actor. He made his professional debut, aged 27, in a production of The Amorous Prawn, going on to work on the stage at the Salisbury Repertory, Bristol Old Vic and with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He enjoyed success as a classical stage actor, then played roles on British television. Shakespearean roles on TV include Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968), Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice (1973) and Edmund in King Lear (1975). An early recurring television role was as civil servant Dowling in the final series of boardroom drama The Power Game in 1969. In 1970 he played Henry Ireton in Cromwell. In 1971, he starred as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in the film Nicholas and Alexandra, then in 1973 took the lead role of Mr Rochester in a BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre opposite Sorcha Cusack.


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