Troy: Who's Michael Crawford?
Chad: 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 CBE (born January 19, 1942 in Sheerness, England) 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 in 1986.
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 had previously wanted to join the Royal Air Force (an aspiration he maintained well into adulthood). After joining a children's theatre group, he was advised adopt a stage name, as there was already 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 'Emnote ), radio plays — you name it, he's done it. But in The '80s 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.
He ended at #17 in 100 Greatest Britons.
- Songs from the Stage and Screen (1987)
- The Phantom Unmasked (1990)
- Michael Crawford Performs Andrew Lloyd Webber (1991)
- With Love (1992)
- A Touch of Music in the Night (1993)
- Favorite Love Songs (1994)
- On Eagle's Wings (1998)
- In Concert (1998)
- A Christmas Album (1999)
- The Disney Album (songs from the Disney Animated Canon) (2001)
- The Early Years - MCIFA Members Only Exclusive (2001)
- The Best of Michael Crawford - Australian Release (2002)
- The Very Best of Michael Crawford (2005)
- Story of My Life: The Best of Michael Crawford (2012)
- 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) EFX Master, 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:
- Biography: Parcel Arrived Safely, Tied With String, released in 1998.
- 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.