Chad: Have you ever seen Michael Crawford on a cereal box?
Troy: Who's Michael Crawford?
: Exactly my point! He was the Phantom of the Opera
on Broadway. Now my mom, she's seen that musical twenty-seven times. And she put Michael Crawford's picture in our refrigerator. Yeah, not on it, in it. So my point is, if you play basketball, you're gonna end up on a cereal box. If you sing in musicals, you're gonna end up in my mom's refrigerator.
Troy: Why would she put his picture in her refrigerator?
Chad: I don't know, one of her crazy diet ideas..
Michael Crawford (born January 19, 1942) is an English actor, singer and comedian who is best known for originating the role of the Phantom of the Opera in the musical of the same name
He was born Michael Patrick Dumbell-Smith in Salisbury, Wiltshire, but a shuffling of family members as well as his mother remarrying lead to him being rechristened as Michael Ingram. However, his stepfather was angry and abusive
, and after his mother died of pancreatic cancer he went to live with a family involved in stagecraft.
It was not until this time that he seriously thought of becoming an actor, as he previously wanted to join the air force (he maintained an interest in joining the RAF well into adulthood). After joining a children's theatre group, he was advised to change his name as there was another Michael Ingram in attendance. He thus came up with the name "Michael Crawford"
after seeing an advert for Crawford's biscuits on the side of a lorry
Since Crawford discovered his love of performing, he has acted in many mediums over nearly fifty-five years
. Films (even working with John Lennon
in How I Won the War
), musicals, stage plays, television programmes (including his iconic role as Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em
), radio plays — you name it, he's done it. But in The Eighties
he decided to add an audiography to his ever-expanding list. He cut his first record, Songs From the Stage and Screen
, in 1987, undoubtedly inspired by being cast in Phantom
in London the previous year.
His role as The Phantom caused a phenomenon often dubbed as "Michaelmania" towards the end of the 1980s, with many women (and some men) falling over themselves to see him live. He performed his last show in Los Angeles in 1991, after many awards, an appointment of the title of OBE and 1,300 performances.
Since then, his theatrical ventures have been something of a hit - and - miss, but in 2011 he was cast as the Wizard in the Andrew Lloyd Webber
re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz
, which he played until February 2012.
He now lives in New Zealand, in order to be closer to his family, and to cure his bout of chronic fatigue syndrome.
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- The Wizard of Oz (20112012) Professor Marvel, Emerald City doorman, tour guide, and The Wizard
- The Woman in White (2004) Count Fosco
- Dance of the Vampires (2002) Count Giovanni von Krolock
- EFX (1995) H.G. Wells, Merlin, P.T. Barnum, Harry Houdini; various other characters
- The Phantom of the Opera (1986) The Phantom
- Barnum (1981) P.T. Barnum
- Condorman (1981) Woody Wilkins
- Flowers for Algernon (1979) Charlie Gordon
- Billy (Billy Liar - The Musical) (1974) Billy Liar
- No Sex Please, We're British (1971) Brian Runnicles
- WALLE (2008) Archive footage from the film version of Hello Dolly!
- The Ghosts of Christmas Eve (2001) Himself
- My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs (2001) Himself
- Tony Palmer's Film About The Fantastic World of Michael Crawford (1996) - Himself
- David Foster's Christmas Album (1993) - Himself
- Once Upon a Forest (1993) (voice) Cornelius
- Barnum (1986) P.T. Barnum
- Condorman (1981) Woody Wilkins/Condorman
- Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (1972) White Rabbit
- Hello-Goodbye (1970) - Harry England
- The Games (1970) Harry Hayes
- Hello, Dolly! (1969) Cornelius Hackl
- How I Won the War (1967) Goodbody
- The Jokers (1967) - Michael Tremayne
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966) Hero
- The Knack
and How to Get It (1965) - Colin
- Two Left Feet (1963) - Alan Crabbe
- The War Lover (1962) Sgt. Junior Sailen
- Two Living, One Dead (1961) - Nils Lindwall
- A French Mistress (1960) - Kent
- Don't Call Me A Horse! (1959) - Harris
- Soapbox Derby (1958) - Peter Toms
- Blow Your Own Trumpet (1958) - Jim Fenn
Michael Crawford displays examples of:
- Author Appeal: Was fascinated by the idea of joining the air force, so much so it even crept into Frank Spencer's backstory in Some Mothers Do 'Ave Em.
- Awful Wedded Life: Was married for ten years to a woman called Gabrielle Lewis, which spawned two daughters. He has gone on record in saying that marriage burned him so much that he refuses to marry again.
- Biography: Parcel Arrived Safely, Tied With String, released in 1998.
- The Cast Showoff: Sang a bit and did all his own stuntwork in Some Mothers Do 'Ave Em.
- Celebrity Voice Actor: As Cornelius in Once Upon a Forest.
- Cover Album: All his albums have been this, each with their own particular theme in terms of subject matter. For example, On Eagle's Wings is his "Christian" album, The Disney Album contains songs from Disney movies, etcetera.
- Friend to All Children: Has worked for many charities for the benefit of children. He even used to visit schools in-character as Frank Spencer.
- Limey Goes to Hollywood: And succeeds!
- Nice Guy
- Silver Fox: Was fast approaching his 50s when he became really popular.
- What Could Have Been: Was approached for the film version of Phantom in the 1990s but refused; he wouldn't play opposite anyone but Sarah Brightman, his original Christine in London and on Broadway.
- Written By Cast Member / Directed by Cast Member: Is known for having (and wanting) a lot of creative control in his chosen field. This was arguably the Fatal Flaw of both Dance of the Vampires and EFX.