Australian actor Keith Michell died at the age of 88 on Friday, Nov. 20. Michell shot to fame for his role as Henry VIII of England in the “The Six Wives of Henry VIII.” The BBC TV series won several awards including British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards, Emmy Awards and the Prix Italia award. In 1972, the series was adapted by Ian Thorne into a film titled “Henry VIII and His Six Wives.”

An official statement was issued by Michell’s family members.

“We will miss him hugely - he has been a great influence in all our lives, creatively, artistically, musically,” read the statement in a report from

Michell was the artistic director of the Chichester Festival Theatre from 1974-1977. He died on Friday at his Hampstead residence, putting an end to a long and illustrious career that spanned Broadway, West End and his homeland Australia. He would have turned 89 on Dec. 1.

The multi-awarded actor was the son of Joseph and Alice Michell. He studied at Port Pirie high school, Adelaide Teachers’ College and Adelaide University. In 1947, the younger Michell made his stage debut in Bill Daily’s “Lovers’ Leap” in Adelaide’s Playbox theatre. He was teaching art at that time. He also worked for ABC radio and in 1949 left Australia to study at the Old Vic Theatre School in the UK.

In London, Michell’s career started taking shape. He was starring in numerous musicals and earning a name for himself. Michell played the dual role of Miguel de Cervantes and the fictional character Don Quixote in the first production of “Man of La Mancha.”

In 1964, Michell starred in the musical “Robert And Elizabeth,” as Robert Browning opposite June Bronhill, the internationally acclaimed Australia soprano singer. Soon, he was appearing widely on TV and films. At the same time, he was also part of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Company.

Aside from his work in “The Six Wives of Henry VIII,” Michell was also lauded for his role as Heathcliff in the 1962 BBC TV adaptation of “Wuthering Heights.”

Apart from acting, Michell had other interests that he excelled in, such as writing, singing and making illustrations. He wrote the musical “Pete McGynty and the Dreamtime.” He also illustrated Jeremy Lloyd’s “Captain Beaky.” It spawned a hit song of the same name, which Michell also performed.

Michell was married to Jeanette Sterke, an English actress. They had two children, a son named Paul and a daughter named Helena.

The Telegraph reports that after Keith Michell’s funeral service, there will be a retrospective exhibition next summer at the Menier Gallery in London. It will showcase of his notable career as a director, actor, singer, artist and designer.

Below are some reactions about Michell’s death in Twitter.

Source: YouTube/Rest in Peace

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