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We had been looking forward to planting the tree for Michael ever since last year, when we had joined Oliver Tobias in dedicating the Wellingtonia to him.

The account of that event is here.

On this November day, it started out grey, but turned into a lovely sunny day by the time we arrived, and the park was beautiful, still in its autumn colours.

Woodchester 18 November 2011
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Woodchester 18 November 2011
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This is an account of the visit to Woodchester National Trust Park, where the early episodes of “Arthur of the Britons” were filmed in Summer 1972.

The event was organised by a fan of Oliver Tobias, Wendy Van Der Veen and this visit took place on Sunday 29 August. It was attended by Oliver Tobias, his brother Benedict Freitag, and a small group of fans of “Arthur of the Britons.”

We wanted to see where Arthur’s village had been sited, and to dedicate a tree to the late Michael Gothard, who starred as Kai in the series, alongside Oliver.
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This obituary by Harris Lentz appeared in the February edition (no. 224) of Classic Images - more than a year after Michael Gothard's death. Mr Lentz appears to have been under the impression that Michael was fifty years old, when in fact he was 53.

Michael Gothard, 50 – February 2, 1993

British character actor Michael Gothard committed suicide by hanging at his Home in England. He began his film career in British films in the 1960s, appearing in ‘Herostratus’ (1968) and ‘Up the Junction’ (1968). He played a series of eccentric characters in British horror films during the 1970s including ‘Scream and Scream Again’ (1970), Ken Russell’s ‘The Devils’ (1971), ‘Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?’ (1971) and ‘Warlords of Atlantis’ (1978).

He was also featured in the 1974 version of ‘The Three Musketeers,’ and the 1981 James Bond film, ‘For Your Eyes Only.’ Gothard’s other credits include 1985’s ‘Lifeforce,’ and [he] appeared in the telefilms ‘Jack the Ripper’ (1988), ‘Out of Time’ (1989) and 1993’s ‘Frankenstein,’ with Randy Quaid and Patrick Bergen.

He was also seen regularly on British television in episodes of such series as ‘Out of the Unknown’; ‘Department S’; ‘My Partner the Ghost’; ‘Arthur of the Britons’ and ‘Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense.’
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This obituary was published on 18 February, 1993, on page 29 of 'The Stage and Television Today.'

"Michael Gothard, who died aged 53 on December 2, was an actor of great strength and individuality.

He played many major roles, but will be best remembered for many television and film appearances.

On television, he played second lead in Arthur of the Britons and Jack the Ripper. In film he was the Prosecutor in Ken Russell’s The Devils and the villain in For Your Eyes Only.

He had recently finished working in Frankenstein for director David Wickes."
michael_gothard_archive: (Michael Gothard circa 1991)
This obituary was published on 8 January, 1993, on page 40 of 'Screen International.'

"Michael Gothard, who died aged 53 on December 2, was an actor of great strength and individuality.

He will probably be best remembered in the TV series Arthur of the Britons and David Wickes' Jack the Ripper; and in films as the prosecutor in Ken Russell’s The Devils and the villain in For Your Eyes Only."
michael_gothard_archive: (wild)
When shown these extracts, Philip Saville remembered Michael as a "lovely man.”

He also wrote: “I think my observations of Michael led me to believe he was two people. By that, I'm not talking bipolar; rather, what his appearance gave to the screen was not the same as what was within.

Outwardly, he was like an elegant poet, but beneath, there was a cauldron of uncertainty which gave him a tortuous demeanour. Unfortunately this gave casting a problem. So he was considered not a leading man, which he was, but an oddball villain of sorts, which at times were much admired.

Actors need to work so he pursued these frequent offers. But actors, like all true artists, need to develop their craft and talent.

He was a very special person and probably would in time have found a way to be true to himself … Sadly, he chose another way.”

Also: “Watching him on screen brought a big smile to my face.”


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