While I know that many of us are watching the devastation and tragedy of the hurricane in New Orleans, I’d like to take a small, quiet moment to remember a lovely, charming, humble man who touched many lives as an actor and as a tremendous human being.
Michael Sheard recently passed away. Many of you probably don’t know who he was. He was guest of honor at Convergence the first time my friends Gary and Isa came over to attend the convention with us. They knew Mr. Sheard from their work organizing a convention he attended…so I was able to visit with him quite a bit both during and after the con. He was a lovely man of wit, humor and genuine warmth. I still remember the little hug and kiss on the cheek he gave me at the end of one of our conversations.
But I don’t think there’s any point in me saying anything more, when the bulletin I just got from Windy Bolsby of the Convergence Con committee already says it so well:
We are saddened by the loss of a good friend of CONvergence. Michael Sheard, a CONvergence Guest of Honor in both 2001 and 2003 has passed away at age 65.
TV and film fans know Michael best for his roles as Mr. Bronson on the long running Grange Hill series, for his appearances on Dr. Who, and for his roles as Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back and Adolf Hitler in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
CONvergence members will remember Michael for his charm, his infectious energy, his love of scotch, and his love of fandom. Michael enjoyed his first year at CONvergence in 2001 so much that he called for CONvergence to become a five day convention at the Closing Ceremony on Sunday. The chant of "Five Days" has become a recurring joke of the convention.
Another memorable Michael Sheard moment, resulted from Michael's countless stories of his good-natured distain for "that f-ing dog" (the infamously difficult to work with Doctor Who companion K-9). A mock-up of K-9 was secretly prepared to be offered up to Michael at the 2003 Closing Ceremony for him to destroy with a cricket bat. Before the mock-up K-9 had been revealed, Michael was asked to share with the Closing Ceremony audience his thoughts on the robotic dog, to which Michael responded "If he were here right now, I would jump up and down on him." You can't ask for a better cue than that. Out came K-9, and Michael did indeed stomp K-9 to bits. K-9's head currently resides in the CONvergence 2003 Time Capsule.
So raise a glass for Michael Sheard. We'll do it together at CONvergence 2006.
We'll miss you Michael.