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SIR MICHAEL GAMBON started his career with the Edwards/MacLiammor Gate Theatre in Dublin. In 1963, he became one of the original members of the National Theatre Company at the Old Vic, under Laurence Olivier. Gambon appeared there in many plays before leaving to join Birmingham Rep, where he played Othello. Also in repertory, he played the title roles in Shakespeare's Macbeth, Coriolanus, and Othello (the latter this time at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough).

His West End stage work includes Simon Gray's Otherwise Engaged, the London premieres of three plays by Alan Ayckbourn: The Norman Conquests,  Just Between Ourselves, and Man of the Moment, Alice's Boys (with Ralph Richardson); Harold Pinter's Old Times, and the title role in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. With the Royal Shakespeare Company, Gambon played leading roles in premieres of Harold Pinter's Betrayal and Mountain Language, Simon Gray's Close of Play, Christopher Hampton's Tales From Hollywood, and three more plays by Alan Ayckbourn: Sisterly Feelings, A Chorus of Disapproval (for which Gambon won an Olivier Award), and A Small Family Business. He has also starred in Shakespeare's Richard III and Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge (which transferred to the Aldwych, and for which he won all the major drama awards in 1987).

Gambon opened in David Hare's Skylight at the Royal National Theatre in 1995, before transferring to Wyndham's Theatre, and then, in 1997, to New York's Royale Theatre (marking his Broadway debut). His recent U.K. stage appearances include Yasmina Reza's The Unexpected Man and Nicholas Wright's Cressida (directed by Nicholas Hytner).

His work on U.K. television includes the title role in Dennis Potter's miniseries The Singing Detective (directed by Jon Amiel), for which he won awards from BAFTA, the Broadcasting Press Guild, and the Royal Television Society; and, more recently, the miniseries Wives and Daughters (adapted from Elizabeth Gaskell's novel and directed by Nicholas Renton), which also starred Tom Hollander of Gosford Park.

His films include David Hare's Paris by Night, Peter Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (starring opposite Helen Mirren of Gosford Park), Mike Figgis' The Browning Version (1994), Sun Krishnamma's A Man of No Importance, Nicolas Roeg's Two Deaths, Stephen Frears' Mary Reilly, Iain Softley's The Wings of the Dove, Pat O'Connor's Dancing at Lughnasa, Karoly Makk's The Gambler, Michael Mann's The Insider, Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, Deborah Warner's The Last September (starring with Maggie Smith of Gosford Park), Conor McPherson's filmization of Samuel Beckett's Endgame, Mel Smith's High Heels and Low Lifes, Gillian Armstrong's forthcoming Charlotte Gray, and Jimmy T. Murakami's (animated) Christmas Carol: The Movie. He is currently at work on John Frankenheimer's HBO telefilm Path to War, in which he portrays U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

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