Actor Michael Sheard, of Grange Hill, Dr. Who and Star Wars fame, has passed away at the age of 65 at his home in the Isle of Wight.
I fear I only had the honor of meeting him once, at CONvergence 2003. But I could easily see how he became beloved in the eyes of fandom. Immediately upon my entering the hospitality suite, he offered me a scotch, though he knew me not from Adam.
At once charming, disarming and hilarious, there was something primal and quintessential about him. Yet what I mostly took away from that convention was the Dr. Who staple’s legendary loathing of K-9.
In the words of Melissa Kaercher, CONvergence stalwart (and, of course, Dr. Blink’s brilliant colorist, and cornerstone of Team Blink):
I had dinner with the man a couple times, and regret never having the chance to tipple Scotch with him. He was full of life; a rambunctious, charming gentleman who took great glee in calling K-9 “that fucking dog…”. He even wore a K-9 pin on his lapel so he’d have an excuse to say “that fucking dog” more often.
It was only two years ago that I saw Michael stomp the living hell out of a replica of “that fucking dog” onstage. Then he smooched everyone he could get his hands on, including Cajones (Chris Jones).
As luck would have it, I had my handy-dandy digital camera, to preserve that event for posterity.
Sheard and Chris Jones (Dr. Blink,
Sheard and CONvergeance guru
Sheard meets K-9. Note the cricket bat in the background
he is about to be offered.
Sit, K-9! SIT! (No cricket bat required)
Ex-ter-min-ate! Ex-ter-min-ate! Ex-ter-min-ate!
Farewell, Mr. Sheard. I would have loved to have heard more of your stories, and shared another scotch…
Thanks, CONvergence folks, for not just an amazing time, but for giving me the opportunity to be in the presence an amazing person.