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General information  

  • Real name : Michael Edward Palin
  • Place of birth : Sheffield
  • Date of birth : 05/05/1943

Alias  

  • meglio noto come Michael Palin
  • Palin Michael

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Michael Palin (1943)

Michael Edward Palin

Type :  

  Summary  

Michael Edward Palin, CBE, FRGS is an English comedian, actor, writer and television presenter best known for being one of the members of the comedy group Monty Python and for his travel documentaries.
Palin wrote most of his comedic material with Terry Jones. Before Monty Python, they had worked on other shows such as the Ken Dodd Show, The Frost Report and Do Not Adjust Your Set. Palin appeared in some of the most famous Python sketches, including "Argument Clinic", "Dead Parrot", "The Lumberjack Song", and "The Spanish Inquisition".

Palin continued to work with Jones after Python, co-writing Ripping Yarns. He has also appeared in several films directed by fellow Python Terry Gilliam and made notable appearances in other films such as A Fish Called Wanda, for which he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. In a 2005 poll to find The Comedians' Comedian, he was voted the 30th favourite by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.

After Python, he began a new career as a travel writer and travel documentarian. His journeys have taken him across the world, including the North and South Poles, the Sahara Desert, the Himalayas and, most recently, Eastern Europe. In 2000 Palin was honoured as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to television. Michael is currently the president of the Royal Geographical Society.

  Biography  

 early life and career
Palin was born in Broomhill, Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, the second child and only son of Mary Rachel Lockhart (née Ovey) and Edward Moreton Palin. His father was a Shrewsbury School and Cambridge-educated engineer working for a steel firm. His maternal grandfather, Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Lockhart Ovey, DSO, was High Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1927. He started his education at Birkdale Preparatory School, Sheffield, and later Shrewsbury School. His sister Angela was nine years older than he was. Despite the age gap the two had a close relationship until her suicide in 1987.

When he was five years old, Palin had his first acting experience at Birkdale playing Martha Cratchit in a school performance of A Christmas Carol. At the age of 10, Palin, still interested in acting, made a comedy monologue and read a Shakespeare play to his mother while playing all the parts. After his school days in 1962 he went on to read modern history at Brasenose College, Oxford. With fellow student Robert Hewison he performed and wrote, for the first time, comedy material at a university Christmas party. Terry Jones, also a student in Oxford, saw that performance and began writing together with Hewison and Palin. In the same year Palin joined the Brightside and Carbrook Co-Operative Society Players and first gained fame when he won an acting award at a Co-Op drama festival. He also performed in the Oxford Revue with Jones.

In 1966 he married Helen Gibbins, whom he first met in 1959 on holiday in Southwold in Suffolk. This meeting was later fictionalised in Palin's play East of Ipswich. The couple have three children and a grandchild. His youngest child, Rachel is a BBC TV director, whose work includes Masterchef: The Professionals, shown on BBC2 throughout October and November 2010. While still a baby, his son William briefly appeared in Monty Python and the Holy Grail as "Sir Not-appearing-in-this-film". His nephew is the theatre designer Jeremy Herbert.

After finishing university in 1965 Palin became a presenter on a comedy pop show called Now! for the television contractor Television Wales and the West. At the same time Palin was contacted by Jones, who had left university a year earlier, for assistance in writing a theatrical documentary about sex through the ages. Although this project was eventually abandoned, it brought Palin and Jones together as a writing duo and led them to write comedy for various BBC programmes, such as The Ken Dodd Show, The Billy Cotton Bandshow, and The Illustrated Weekly Hudd. They collaborated in writing lyrics for an album by Barry Booth called . They were also in the team of writers working for The Frost Report, whose other members included Frank Muir, Barry Cryer, Marty Feldman, Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Dick Vosburgh and future Monty Python members Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Eric Idle. Although the members of Monty Python had already encountered each other over the years, The Frost Report was the first time all the British members of Monty Python worked together. During the run of The Frost Report the Palin/Jones team contributed material to two shows starring John Bird: The Late Show and A series of Bird's. For A series of Bird's the Palin/Jones team had their first experience of writing narrative instead of the short sketches they were accustomed to conceiving.

Following The Frost Report the Palin/Jones team worked both as actors and writers on the show Twice a Fortnight with Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie and Jonathan Lynn, and the successful children's comedy show Do Not Adjust Your Set with Idle and David Jason. The show also featured musical numbers by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, including future Monty Python musical collaborator Neil Innes. The animations for Do Not Adjust Your Set were made by Terry Gilliam, who joined the cast on Cleese's recommendation and began working with the Palin/Jones team for the first time. Eager to work with Palin sans Jones, Cleese later asked him to perform in How to Irritate People together with Chapman and Tim Brooke-Taylor. The Palin/Jones team were reunited for The Complete and Utter History of Britain.

During this period Cleese contacted Palin about doing the show that would ultimately become Monty Python's Flying Circus. On the strength of their work on The Frost Report and other programmes, Cleese and Chapman had been offered a show by the BBC, but Cleese was reluctant to do a two-man show for various reasons, among them Chapman's reputedly difficult personality. At the same time the success of Do Not Adjust Your Set had led Palin, Jones, Idle and Gilliam to be offered their own series and, while it was still in production, Palin agreed to Cleese's proposal and brought along Idle, Jones and Gilliam. Thus the formation of the Monty Python troupe has been referred to as a result of Cleese's desire to work with Palin and the chance circumstances that brought the other four members into the fold.

 other work
After the Monty Python television series ended in 1974, the Palin/Jones team worked on Ripping Yarns, an intermittent television comedy series broadcast over three years from 1976. They had earlier collaborated on the play Secrets from the BBC series Black and Blue in 1973. He starred as Dennis the Peasant in Terry Gilliam's 1977 film Jabberwocky. Palin also appeared in All You Need Is Cash as Eric Manchester , the press agent for the Rutles.

In 1980, Palin co-wrote Time Bandits with Terry Gilliam. He also acted in the film.

In 1982, Palin wrote and starred in The Missionary, co-starring Maggie Smith. In it, he plays the Reverend Charles Fortescue, who is recalled from Africa to aid prostitutes.

In 1984, he reunited with Terry Gilliam to appear in Brazil. He appeared in the comedy film A Fish Called Wanda, for which he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Cleese reunited the main cast almost a decade later to make Fierce Creatures.

After filming for Fierce Creatures finished, Palin went on a travel journey for a BBC documentary and, returning a year later, found that the end of Fierce Creatures had failed at test screenings and had to be reshot.

Apart from Fierce Creatures, Palin's last film role was a small part in The Wind in the Willows, a film directed by and starring Terry Jones. Palin also appeared with John Cleese in his documentary, The Human Face. Palin was in the cast of You've Got Mail, the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan romantic comedy as a subplot novelist, but his role was eventually cut entirely.

He also assisted Campaign for Better Transport and others with campaigns on sustainable transport, particularly those relating to urban areas, and has been president of the campaign since 1986.

Palin has also appeared in serious drama. In 1991 Palin worked as producer and actor in the film American Friends based upon a real event in the life of his great grandfather, a fellow at St John's College, Oxford. In that same year he also played the part of a headmaster in Alan Bleasdale's Channel 4 drama series G.B.H..

Palin also had a small cameo role in Australian soap opera Home and Away. He played an English surfer with a fear of sharks, who interrupts a conversation between two main characters to ask whether there were any sharks in the sea. This was filmed while he was in Australia for the Full Circle series, with a segment about the filming of the role featuring in the series.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Michael Palin", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.