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George Worthing Yates
Irvin S. Yeaworth, Jr.
Michael York
Robert Zemeckis
Terri Zimmern
George Zucco
 
YORK, MICHAEL
(1942– ). British actor.

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND HORROR FILM CREDITS
Acted in films: Lost Horizon (Charles Jarrott 1973); Logan's Run (Michael ANDERSON 1976); Logan's Run: A Look into the 23rd Century (documentary; short) (Ronald Saland 1976); The Island of Dr. Moreau (Don Taylor 1977); The Last Remake of Beau Geste (Marty Feldman 1977); Fedora (Billy Wilder 1978); Phantom of Death (Ruggero Deodato 1987); A Young Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (Ralph L. Thomas 1995); Dark Planet (Albert Magnoli 1996); Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (Jay Roach 1997); Wrongfully Accused (Pat Proft 1998); Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (Roach 1999); The Omega Code (Robert Marcarelli 1999); The Haunting of Hell House (Mitch Marcus 1999); Puss in Boots (Phil Nibbelink 1999); Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 (Paul J. Lombardi and Brian Trenchard-Smith 2001); Austin Powers in Goldmember (Roach 2002).

Acted in television: "The Night of the Golden Cobra" (1966), episode of The Wild, Wild West; Jesus of Nazareth (tv movie) (Franco Zeffirelli 1977); Phantom of the Opera (tv movie) (Robert Markowitz 1983); Space (tv miniseries) (1985); Dark Mansions (tv movie) (Jerry London 1986); "Ponce DeLeon and the Search for the Fountain of Youth" (1987), episode of Shelley Duvall's Tall Tales and Legends; "Brave New World," "SpinDrift," "Brainlock" (1993), episodes of SeaQuest 2020; TekWar: TekLab (tv movie) (Timothy Bond 1994); Not of This Earth (tv movie) (Terry Winkless 1995); "A Late Delivery from Avalon" (1996), episode of Babylon 5; "This Slide of Paradise" (1997), episode of Sliders; A Knight in Camelot (tv movie) (Roger Young 1998).

Provided voice for animated films and television: "Beauty and the Beast" (1981), episode of CBS Library: Misunderstood Monsters; The Magic Paintbrush (Tom Tataranowicz 1992); "Off Balance" (1992), "Zatanna" (1993), episodes of Batman: The Animated Series; The Magic Flute (tv movie) (Emanuel Schikaneder 1994); "Cold Feet" (1994), episode of The Magic School Bus; "Tools of the Trade" (1997), episode of Superman; A Christmas Carol (Stan Phillips 1997); Le Chateau de Singer (Jean-Francois Laguionie 1999); The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire (animated; voice) (Charles Grosvenor 2000).

 
The dinner theatre circuit has too long been deprived of the stately presence of Michael York. He is perfectly suited to go through the motions as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music to entertain sated, sleepy, and easily satisfied audiences. Why, in the twenty-first century, I am still obliged to keep updating his filmography is a mystery that must be explored.

Perhaps it is simply the magical allure of his British accent, still perceived by colonials as the perfect way to add a touch of class to any production. Yet there might also be something—one could not call it talent—about York as a performer that is strangely appealing: that grim determination to carry on with a brave smile on his face, no matter how wretchedly he is acting or how appalling the film is, an occasionally evident puppy-doggish desire to please whoever he happens to be around. Filmgoers feel compelled to admire survivors, even as producers feel compelled to cast them—against their better judgment.

After bursting into prominence as the male ingenue in Cabaret (1972), York immediately attempted to destroy his embryonic career by appearing in three of the most execrable films of the 1970s. One cannot blame York for the musical Lost Horizon, since his lackluster performance as the young romantic lead was only one of many reasons for the failure of this ill-conceived and perfunctorily executed project. Yet Logan's Run and The Island of Dr. Moreau might have at least been watchable with another, more capable actor at the helm. Another well-deserved flop, The Last Remake of Beau Geste, first gave York the only sort of part he could ever be good at—the stiff, hapless straight man incongruously surrounded by wildly overacting comics.

Soon, York was growing too old to play the only other role he ever got good reviews for, D'Artagnan (though that has not prevented him from making two return appearances as an aging swordsman), and his career predictably went into free fall. He spent most of the 1980s playing supporting roles in television movies, series, and miniseries, including The Phantom of the Opera and Space, with some excursions to star in obscure European movies. By the 1990s, he was reduced to guest appearances in television series and providing voices for dire animated films, and it seemed the inevitable next step would be a little-noticed interview in which he announced that he was returning to his first love and rediscovering his roots on the legitimate stage.

Then, inexplicably, York mounted his celluloid comeback. He was a conveniently cheap British actor to play Merlin in A Young Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (later, he would essay King Arthur as well), but he attracted more attention by appearing in the remake of Not of the Earth, a movie doomed from the start by two terrible decisions: one, to play Paul BIRCH's blood-sucking alien for laughs, and two, to cast in the part an actor who couldn't do comedy. (Of course, I suppose it's possible that York turned around and started doing some brilliant acting in the last half of the film, but I guess I'll never know.) Then he was given little to do and did it reasonably well in the James Bond spoof Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, leading to return appearances in its two sequels, and having come out of the closet as a born-again Christian, he again garnered a leading role in a theatrically released film, the evangelical The Omega Code. Now in demand more than ever for voiceovers, minor parts in major films, and major parts in minor films, and his chances for a thriving career in dinner theatre seemingly dashed, one can only hope that York will develop a belated yen for directing and thankfully step behind the camera.

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