Michael Gambon

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Michael Gambon : biography

19 October 1940 –

Gambon is a qualified private pilot and his love of cars led to his appearance on the BBC’s Top Gear programme. Gambon raced the Suzuki Liana and was driving so aggressively that it went round the last corner of his timed lap on two wheels. The final corner of the Top Gear test track has been named "Gambon" in his honour.

He appeared on the programme again on 4 June 2006, and set a time in the Chevrolet Lacetti of 1:50.3, a significant improvement on his previous time of 1:55. He clipped his namesake corner the second time, and when asked why by Jeremy Clarkson, replied, "I dunno — I just don’t like it."

Ongoing work

He performed as Joe in Beckett’s Eh Joe, giving two performances a night at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London. He currently does the voice over to the new Guinness ads with the penguins. In 2007 he played major roles in Stephen Poliakoff’s Joe’s Palace, and the five-part adaptation of Mrs Gaskell’s Cranford novels, both for BBC TV.

In 2008 Gambon appeared in the role of Hirst in No Man’s Land by Harold Pinter in the Gate Theatre, Dublin, opposite David Bradley as Spooner, in a production directed by Rupert Goold, which transferred to the London West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre, for which roles each received nominations for the 2009 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor. He also appeared as the Narrator in the British version of Kröd Mändoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire.

After Pinter’s death on 24 December 2008, Gambon read Hirst’s monologue selected by the playwright for Gambon to read at his funeral, held on 31 December 2008, during the cast’s memorial remarks from the stage as well as at the funeral and also in Words and Music, transmitted on the BBC Radio 3 on 22 February 2009.Michael Gambon (Reader), . Transmitted on BBC Radio 3, 22 February 2009. 22 February 2009. (Accessible for 7 days afterward on "Listen again" on BBCiPlayer.)

In late 2009 he had to withdraw from his role of W. H. Auden in The Habit of Art (being replaced by Richard Griffiths) because of ill health. That same year he played his role as Mr. Woodhouse in a television adaptation of Jane Austen’s famously irrepressible Emma, a four-hour miniseries that premiered on BBC One in October 2009, co-starring Jonny Lee Miller and Romola Garai. Gambon received a 2010 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie nomination for his performance.

In April 2010, Gambon returned once again to the Gate Theatre Dublin to appear in Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, which transferred to London’s Duchess Theatre in October 2010.

Gambon appeared alongside Katherine Jenkins in the 2010 Christmas Special of Doctor Who, A Christmas Carol.Michael Gambon Appears on BBC, .

In 2012 he stars with Eileen Atkins in an adaptation of Beckett’s radio play, All That Fall. Its premiere is at the Jermyn Street Theatre and transfers to the Arts Theatre. Also this year he participates in the Dustin Hoffman film debut as director with Quartet, based on the same-titled play by Ronald Harwood and starring Maggie Smith. He had previously worked with Hoffman in the HBO horse-racing drama Luck, which was canceled in March 2012 after three horses died on set.